Data from leading Chinese e-commerce retailer JD.com has revealed the country’s consumers are increasingly shifting their purchases to sustainable goods and are willing to pay the premium.
In a release, the company said the trend was likely to grow as awareness of environmental issues became more deeply embedded in the public consciousness.
Drawing from a large sample of more than 266 million customers in China, the Trends in Green Consumption Development report looked at products from a wide range of categories, from household appliances to clothing and food, looking at such factors as recyclable materials, energy efficiency and environmental protection.
The group claimed it had actively been introducing more green products on the platform to meet a broad range of consumer demands and preferences, with the total volume of products available in this category increasing by 54.5% in 2017.
The total volume of green purchases made on JD increased by 71%, contributing to 15.1% of total sales on the platform during the same period.
JD.com reported the following highlights from the report:
• Millennials aged 26-35 accounted more than half (51.8%) of the total volume of green purchases made on JD’s platform in 2017, and accounted for 48.8% of all users making green purchases.
• Green consumption per capita was highest for people aged 56 years and above, followed by people aged 46-55.
• Male consumers appear most willing to pay for green apparel and household appliances. Sales of green apparel and home appliances by male consumers on JD accounted for 70.7% and 62.7% of the total sales in these categories on the platform.
• Female consumers appear least sensitive to price when it comes to green maternal and childcare products and beauty products. These products enjoyed the highest premiums, 78% and 52% respectively, on JD.
The group said it empowered brand partners, suppliers and consumers to lead sustainable lifestyles, and has also pledged RMB1 billion (US$157 million) to its Green Logistics Fund.
The fund promotes the use of sustainable, green packaging materials throughout the supply chain, and the company will involve collaboration with DHL, La Poste, Yamato,SF Express, consumer products conglomerates such as Nestle and Danone, and environmental protection organizations.
The company has also committed to transitioning 700 of its logistics vehicles in Beijing to electric by the 2018 Spring Festival, thus further reducing CO2 emissions. To bring its customers on its sustainability journey, the company recently launched a new feature where its customers in China can generate a report based on their purchases on JD.com to better understand their own green consumption footprints.
“Being a positive contributor to society has been core to our mission as a company since day one,” said JD.com chairman and CEO Richard Liu.
“We feel privileged to use our technology and resources to empower our partners to support our customers’ increasing desire to do their part and respond to their demand for a more sustainable lifestyle.
“In the future, we look forward to continuing to develop our capabilities to cement our position as China’s destination of choice for sustainable retail.”