10 December 2023

10 Hot Consumer Trends for a Climate-Affected Future

Ericsson surveyed more than 15,000 early adopters around the world, and more than 99 percent of them said they planned to use the internet and connectivity-based solutions by 2030 to lessen the effects of climate change and global warming on their own lives. This number comes from the most recent annual “10 Hot Consumer Trends” study by Ericsson ConsumerLab.

This year’s study is all about living in a future affected by climate change. The twelfth version of the study will come out in January 2023. By the year 2030, it will focus on consumers’ worries, hopes, and technological solutions to climate change.

In other words, 83% of respondents think that by then, the world would have reached or passed the 1.5C rate of global warming (over pre-industrial levels) that is considered by international agreements to be the limit at which more severe weather and bad climate effects are expected. About 55% of early adopters in cities want to use connectivity solutions to make their lives less affected by climate change.

10 Hot Consumer Trends for a Climate-Affected Future

The rising cost of living, the lack of energy and other basic goods, and the need for constant and safe communication in times of unrest and natural disasters are all big worries. Most of the people who answered the survey (59%) said that by 2030, innovation and technology will be needed to deal with the daily problems caused by climate change.

More than 15,000 early users of augmented reality, virtual reality, and digital assistants from 30 cities around the world were asked to rate 120 proposals for digital services in 15 categories. These categories ranged from daily climate adaptation to strategies for dealing with extreme weather. After putting together all of the answers, the experts at Ericsson ConsumerLab came up with 10 main groups.

Magnus Frodigh, head of Ericsson Research, says that consumers are emphatically saying that a reliable and resilient internet connection will be the most important thing for their daily lives and their own efforts to fight climate change. This is because people think that extreme weather changes and bad effects on the climate will happen more often in the future. Consumers have come to not only expect but also demand that all necessary connections are available everywhere and right away.

As a group, early adopters are almost all sure that climate change is happening and that the effects will be more noticeable in the 2030s than they are now. In the 2030s, the main reasons people will use new services will be their own economic and lifestyle goals. But new large-scale group behaviors could lead to big changes in how people live now, including when they work and how they balance work with other parts of their lives.

One thing that might be fueling the No-Rush Mobility movement is the decline of “clock time” institutions and habits, such as the “traditional” nine-to-five workday and the habits that go along with it. It’s possible that peak and off-peak energy use could be used to organize society instead of clock time.

As shown by the “Less Is More Digital” trend, respondents think that AI will play an increasingly important role in how people act. For example, AI could help people reduce their impact on the environment by choosing digital items instead of traditional ones.

Sara Thorson, Head of Concept Development at Ericsson ConsumerLab and co-author of the report, also talks about the smart water trend. In the same way, if water restrictions were much more common than they are now, there would be big changes in how much water people use.

Sixty-four percent of early adopters think that by the 2030s, all residents will have monthly water quotas that are managed digitally. Dr. Michael Bjorn, Head of Research Agenda, Ericsson Consumer and IndustryLab, and the person in charge of the 10 Hot Consumer Trends report since its start in 2011, says that consumers worry about the misuse of climate-impact solutions.

As shown by the Climate Cheaters movement, any activities that aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions must take this unpleasant but very real trend into account. Some dishonest people might try to avoid doing things they need to do to follow the law, like paying their bills or keeping records. In the face of climate change, nearly three-quarters of those who answered the survey plan to use digital technology to get around environmental limits for their own benefit. This is a big red flag that shows how important it is to keep putting an emphasis on service dependability.

10 Hot Consumer Trends

Cost Cutters

Customers will be able to better manage the costs of things like food, electricity, and transportation when the weather is unstable. This will be possible thanks to digital services. Over 60% of people in early adopter communities worry about the cost of living going up in the future.

Climate Cheaters

Respondents say that consumers will find ways to get around stricter environmental laws when prices go up and energy and water are limited. More than half of early adopters who live in cities think that it will be possible to illegally tap into their neighbours’ water or energy supplies by using hacking tools on the internet.


As climate change continues and it gets harder to get around, city dwellers may be able to experience nature without leaving the city by the 2030s. Over 40% of early adopters who live in cities are interested in using a virtual travel service that takes them to nature preserves and mountain roads.

Less is more digital

As overconsumption of physical goods may become expensive and socially frowned upon, digital products that can replace them may become signs of social status. One-third of early adopters who live in cities say they would use shopping apps that suggest digital alternatives to real things. This suggests that dematerialization of consumption patterns may become more common.

The Enerconomy

Costs for energy are expected to go up in the 2030s, so digital services that let people share their energy could help. 65 percent of early adopters who live in cities think that people will be able to pay for goods and services with mobile apps and kWh by the 2030s.

Smart Water

In case there isn’t enough fresh water by the 2030s, consumers hope that water utilities will use smarter ways to save and reuse water. Nearly half of urban early adopters say they want to put smart water catchers on their roofs, balconies, and windows that automatically open when it starts to rain.

New Working Climate

Limits on how much businesses can add to their carbon footprints, rising prices, and fast digitalization will all have an effect on the future of work. Seven out of ten people think that AI assistants at companies will help workers organise their commutes, tasks, and resources so that they have less of an impact on the environment while they are at work.


In the near future, AI is likely to be used to power services that protect customers from dangerously changing weather. Almost half of the first people to move to cities plan to use their own weather alert systems.

No-Rush Mobility

Rules about the environment and how to save energy are changing what it means to be flexible, which could mean the end of strict timetables. 

About 68% of people said they would choose schedulers that focus more on how much energy they use than how much time they save.

Unbroken Connections

As natural disasters happen more often and get worse, having a stable and safe internet connection will become more important. Eighty percent of early adopters who live in cities think that smart signal locators will be available by 2030. During natural disasters, these devices will show where good coverage is.

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