Why is conscious consumerism the key to a sustainable future?

18/04/2023 | Santander Universidades

Did you know that one third of all food produced around the globe ends up in the bin? It has also been estimated that, by 2050, we will require the equivalent of almost three planets to ensure the natural resources necessary to maintain our current pace of life. 

Many of the environmental problems that today pose a threat to our planet are both cause and consequence of our consumption patterns. While big business has a major responsibility in this issue, consumers have more power than they realise. Here is a small - but great - step that can be taken which might just prove vital: conscious consumerism.

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What is conscious consumerism and why is it so important?

Conscious consumerism is an attitude and a lifestyle, which above all deals with two matters: consuming less and ensuring that what we do consume is as sustainable as possible. Following this concept, the main features of conscious consumerism are:

  1. Ethics: it prioritises values such as responsibility and respect. 
  2. Critique: it entails the deconstruction of imposed beliefs.
  3. Consciousness: deliberately fighting against fashion and advertising.
  4. Sustainability: it promotes a less wasteful, more environmentally friendly lifestyle. 
  5. Solidarity: with fair-trade producers, other species, and with future generations. 
  6. Health benefits: conscious consumerism inspires us to have healthier habits, as well as being a powerful source of wellness and happiness, living in a way more aligned with our values.

Conscious consumerism can be a powerful tool when it comes to driving change in our society and on our planet, forming part of official and urgent agendas in most countries around the world. For the United Nations, for example, sustainable consumption is Goal 12 of Agenda 2030, a guide for the transition towards a more supportive and greener global economy. una guía para la transición hacia una economía global más verde y solidaria.


What is the current profile of a conscious consumer?

In Europe, the European Consumer Payment Report was recently published, analysing the data of more than 24,000 consumers in 24 different countries. This report paints a picture of who "conscious consumers" are.

For example, in Spain, Generation Z is leading the change: six out of ten young people between the ages of 18 and 21 say they are committed to sustainability and have significantly reduced their expenditure. In the 22 to 37 age range, the rate of engagement is 54%. However, some 74% of the Spanish population says that the pandemic has changed the way they consume and, today, they are more likely to buy locally. In fact, Spain ranks third out of countries most likely to buy locally, behind only Portugal and Ireland. 

Meanwhile, a study by The Nielsen Company shows that this movement is also booming in Latin America. Gen Z and millennials are also leading the Latin American change, with 80% to 85% of respondents in this age group considering themselves to be well-informed about sustainable production. Indeed, in countries such as Colombia and Mexico, half of the population opts for sustainable products, even when these are more expensive. Conversely, on a global scale just 37% of consumers do so.

Consejos para consumir de forma más responsable

With the future being in our hands, it is vital to take sustainable action to ensure the wellbeing of the entire planet. That's just one reason why it's crucial to continue to train and support sustainable development. With the aim of helping people progress, overcome the challenges posed by the fourth industrial revolution and grow in an inclusive and sustainable way, Banco Santander is committed to three key concepts to boost employability: lifelong learning, reskilling and upskilling. To support this commitment, it has created the Santander Open Academy website, a unique and pioneering global programme. 

If you would like to keep growing personally and professionally, head over to the Santander Open Academy website, where you'll find 100s of opportunities to train together with internationally renowned institutions. Access training in technology, languages, research, investigation, soft skills, internships and female leadership, which will help you to improve your employability or refocus your career.


Do you want to become a lifelong learner and increase your job opportunities? The Santander Open Academy website has plenty of options to help you achieve your goals. Check out the website and remember: you can sign up for as many courses as you like. Make the most of this opportunity!

Inscríbete ahora

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