Green Response Report 2021

Insights on how Covid changed the way we live and act.


At Essity we continuously conduct research among the general public to understand behaviors and attitudes related to hygiene and health, and how that impacts the world around us. Our Green Response report seeks to understand if the lifestyle changes demanded by the global pandemic have impacted the way in which international communities feel and behave towards the environment.

What is the link between COVID-19 and the environment?

Covid forcing the whole world to pause...

Consumers, communities, businesses, and healthcare systems across the world were forced to change their plans and priorities and adapt to a new reality. Hygiene and health concerns were thrust into the center of attention as everyday behaviors and attitudes that we had taken for granted were banished overnight.

We wanted to understand if these monumental shifts in behavior changed the way in which people feel about and behave towards the environment. Has the well-being of our planet dropped down the priority list? Or has the pandemic strengthened our determination to safeguard its future?

Here is what we discovered...

Sustainability is here to stay


of participants

say they have become more environmentally friendly since the beginning of the pandemic.


of those

that are living more sustainably say they intend to continue their greener living.

What we also found out:

Looking through the results of this research, it shows that many of our consumers have taken this moment in time to learn more about sustainability issues and have taken action to lead a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. Consumers also show they are willing to commit more time to activities beneficial for the environment and are willing to pay a price premium for sustainable alternatives.

»For Essity, it is vital to understand how we can support and enable our customers and consumers in their ambitions to act more sustainably.«

– Tuomas Yrjölä
President, Global Brand Innovation & Sustainability

What the experts say:

»In the context of a global pandemic, it is important to consider how sustainability-related concerns stack up in the minds of consumers.«

Jeremy Harrison
Chief Markets Officer, Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) International
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»This very interesting study gives faith in the future. It shows that the environment and health are now among the top priorities of citizens and that they are ready to act, especially young people.«

Marie-Eve Laporte
Associate Professor at IAE Paris - Sorbonne Business School and expert in consumer behaviour
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»Our job now, as the consumer goods industry, is to help make it easier for people to live more sustainable lives by doing business the right way - sourcing more sustainably, reducing plastic and food waste [...] and reducing carbon emissions, etc.«

Wai-Chan Chan
Managing Director of the Consumer Goods Forum
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