Havas Media has unveiled a study that looks at the impact of climate change on business from the point of view of consumers and looks at how to address these issues. A key finding from the research was the fact that increasingly consumers are putting the onus of responsibility on brands.
The study claims to be based on interviews with more than 11,000 respondents in India, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Mexico, Spain, UK and US and says it has unearthed both local and global characteristics that develop the current theories on a number of widely-debated issues. The report also highlights a dramatic gulf between the attitudes of the richest countries and those in the developing world.
Interestingly, the study claims that countries like Brazil, China and India are amongst those who are most alarmed by climate change, while respondents in the US, UK and Germany demonstrated far lower levels of concern. The study also claims that consumers in China, Brazil, Mexico and India are inclined to be significantly more willing than their North American, British and German counterparts to spend extra on environmentally-friendly products.
With respect to India, the survey claims that 86% of Indians would rather buy from companies that are trying to reduce their contribution to global warming. Further, 50% of Indian respondents would be more likely to buy environmentally-friendly goods in the next 12 months, if they were at the same price and standard as their usual brands. 43% would be willing to pay a little extra for those goods.
Interestingly, Indians believe the oil and fuel sector is the most damaging of all economic sectors in terms of the environment, while banking is perceived to be the least damaging. 57% of Indian respondents also agree that their government is making a significant effort to combat climate change – the second highest proportion, behind only China.
The study also claims that among those interviewed, 90% of Indians agree that climate change will affect them and their family, and 88% believe they can contribute to solving the problem, making India one of the most positive countries in the report in terms of its willingness to change. 50% of Indian respondents can be classed as eco-absorbed. The eco-absorbed are those who are very focused on the issue of climate change and India has the third-highest proportion in the world - behind Brazil (58%) and Mexico (56%) but far ahead of countries such as Germany (15%) and the UK (17%).
Anita Nayyar, CEO, Havas Media India said on the study, "The survey suggests consumer awareness of the damage done by particular companies and sectors is growing increasingly sophisticated, and that companies which fail to act responsibly can no longer expect to hide behind generally positive perceptions of the sector in which they operate. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of who is credibly making changes and who is not, despite green stereotypes associated with different sectors. The result: green marketing strategies and good environmental practices are no longer a "nice to have" for brands, but increasingly a "must have" in terms of not only maintaining brand image but also in maintaining market share."