Four in five people feel brands and world leaders need to do more in order to prevent the worst-case scenarios of climate change, according to new research.
The study, conducted by Mail Metro Media, collated the views of over 2,000 readers of news titles such as the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, the Telegraph, I and Metro.
It found that 64% of those surveyed are now noticing the effects of climate change in everyday life, while 85% believe recent extreme weather events around the world are linked. This has generated greater concern for the future among 68% of readers.
The findings follow hot on the heels of the first part of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report, which confirmed scientists’ fears that climate change is inevitable and irreversible. While we still have time to avoid its worst effects, the next decade is crucial. If we fail to act now, the scale of the catastrophe will pose an existential threat to billions of human beings and other species.
61% of Britons surveyed by Mail Metro Media believe the recovery from COVID offers a great chance to develop more eco-friendly policies and behaviours, while 72% agree that small actions can make a big difference.
Yet troublingly, 69% of 35-54s and 73% of people aged 55 and over claim to know very little about climate change. This insight should interest brands greatly; it suggests there’s an opportunity to fill knowledge gaps, lead the conversation and inspire change.
Indeed, with 82% of respondents believing brands and influential figures need to do more, the report’s findings serve as a wake-up call for businesses that have been slow out of the blocks – whether due to of fears over financial costs, logistical issues, shareholder resistance or simply not knowing where on earth to start.
How you get round these obstacles will depend on your brand’s individual circumstances – there is no silver bullet or one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to developing a sustainability strategy – but leveraging the expertise of specialist partners can certainly help.
Updating folk on the amazing work you’re doing is also key in shaping attitudes to both your business and the crisis, though picking the right communication channels is crucial. There are some tried-and-tested avenues here, with the Mail Metro Media report highlighting TV (59%) and newspapers (58%) as the most trustworthy sources for eco information. Perhaps unsurprisingly, social media scores comparatively low on the same metric.
Ultimately, consistent and authentic messaging will win the day for companies putting their sustainability policies into action. At a time when consumers are increasingly judging businesses on their green credentials, striking the right balance between the walk and talk will be what defines successful brands of the future.