Most Vietnamese consumers choose environmental protection over profits

Karen Pham

Karen Pham


Two in three Vietnamese consumers (64 per cent) expect businesses to focus more on environmental protection than profit, according to a new report from Sandpiper, 2022 Consumer Expectations Index for Asia Pacific.

Additionally, while governments make the biggest contributions to environmental sustainability, they consider private enterprises are consistently underperforming.

This report is based on an online survey of 6000 consumers across 11 markets in the region, aiming to learn what customers anticipate from leaders in the public and commercial sectors about sustainability issues.

The study’s key findings are:

The consumer is part of both the solution and the problem

  • 97 per cent of Vietnam consumers ranked governments as being the most accountable for solving sustainability issues, with publicly-listed companies ranked second (91 per cent), ahead of consumers themselves (84 per cent) and media (89 per cent).
  • 73 per cent of individuals having the most influence on sustainability issues are heads of state, followed by government ministers at 16 per cent, CEOs at three per cent and consumers themselves at 2 per cent.

Consumer’s knowledge of climate change has already grown

  • 99 per cent of Vietnamese consumers Vietnam agree that climate change is a reality, while only 1 per cent disagree.
  • 54 per cent of them have a strong understanding of climate change.
  • While concern is the first-ranked emotion in regard to climate change (46 per cent), people also feel guilty that they are not personally doing enough to help address this issue (13 per cent).

Language matters

  • 85 per cent say they have at least an average level of understanding of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and 76 per cent of Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG), which highlights the importance of how we communicate with consumers and the usage of simple language.
  • Only 40 per cent of Vietnamese people have a strong understanding of sustainability, whereas the majority (85 per cent) have at least a moderate understanding.
  • 66 per cent of consumers across the region have heard of United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Emma Smith, CEO at Sandpiper, sees an increasing expectation of all organisations and individuals to act because of the continuous growth of global sustainability challenges.

“While governments are shouldering the weight of solving sustainability challenges, increasingly consumers see both private companies and themselves as critical to solutions and they have a growing appetite to learn more and be involved,” said Smith.

“While understanding of more technical areas of sustainability remains low, organisations should be preparing for consumer knowledge and scrutiny to increase in the coming years as interest grows across every age group and demographic.”

Sandpiper is a strategic communications and public affairs consultancy based in Asia Pacific and operating globally.

Karen Pham

Karen Pham

Karen Pham is a marketing and branding enthusiast with a major in legal English. Based in Ho Chi Minh City, she is a contributor to Viable.Earth.