Covid 19 makes Americans think more of sustainability

Six months into the Covid 19 pandemic, Americans have started to give more importance to sustainability, according to a new study.

A majority of the Americans (about 85 per cent) have started to think that sustainability was important when the pandemic moves away, said the survey by Genomatica, a leader in bioengineering.


  • Eighty-six percent of Americans say sustainability will be equally or more important when the pandemic subsides.
  • About half (48 per cent) say they are inspired to find ways to keep being sustainable
  • Forty two per cent realise being sustainable is easier than they thought.
  • Six in 10 Americans who admit being less sustainable during COVID-19 say they don’t like it.
  • For those feeling the brunt of COVID-19: Nearly half (46 per cent)of those who say they live in areas hit hard by COVID-19 claim they have been thinking more about sustainability, while 43 per cent who have been laid off, furloughed or seen job disruption say they would still pay more for sustainable products.
  • Across ideologies: About 46 per cent of Republicans say the government should continue to prioritize sustainability.

Life at home more sustainable 

  • Six in 10 Americans say working from home is more sustainable than working in an office. Only 13 per cent disagree to this.
  • They say no need to commute and using less energy to heat and cool large workplaces
  • Americans who have been more sustainable lately cite driving less as the number one reason (68%), followed by buying less stuff (54%), throwing fewer things away (42%), not commuting (41%) and flying less (37%).
  • Three times as many Americans say they’ll drive less, as opposed to driving more, this year.

More sustainable products

  • More than a third (37 per cent) of Americans are willing to pay a little more for sustainable products, even during an economic downturn — and across age groups,
  • Four in five (82 per cent) Americans trust natural-based cleaners to protect against COVID-19.
  • Half of Americans are comfortable using natural cleaning products (50 per cent) and even more (60p per cent) will be comfortable using reusable bags at the store as soon as they’re allowed to.
  • Half of Americans won’t be comfortable using sharing economy services like Uber or Airbnb (53 per cent), riding public transportation (54 per cent) or carpooling (50 per cent) until there is a vaccine

Meanwhile, Genomatica’s CEO Christophe Schilling said that the collective consciousness on sustainability was rising. “While this shift has been underway for decades, and particularly strong in Europe, many of us in the US have been inspired by the rapid improvement in air quality and traffic that shine a bright light on how our behaviours and decisions impact our environment and quality of life. As brands are learning, Americans are increasingly spending in line with their values, fuelling a ray of hope in a tough year,” Schilling said.


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