Consumers ready to take and demand action on Earth Day

Food and drink companies beat CO2 reduction targets five years early

Photo credit: Felix Mittermeier via Pexels

3 Sided Cube, a ‘tech for good’ app development agency, has released new research revealing British consumer attitudes towards the climate crisis as the world today (22 April) celebrates the ‘most important Earth Day to date.’

As global temperatures surge toward 1.5 degrees warming*, 3 Sided Cube’s new research (which underpins the recent ‘Igniting A Green Revolution’ report) reveals how consumers are waking up to the climate crisis and are willing to take steps accordingly. In particular, the majority (68%) of UK consumers want to lower their carbon footprint. Almost perfectly mirroring the 68% figure, 67% said they want to live more sustainably, in all aspects of life (food, energy use, transport, clothing).

Commenting on the encouraging consumer results and Earth Day 2021, Richard Strachan, managing director at 3 Sided Cube, said: “The climate crisis, ecological destruction and plastic waste are global issues that must be top priorities for Earth Day this year. We are now incredibly close to surging past the 1.5 degrees warming limit set out by the Paris Agreement of 2015.

“Clearly, consumers care a lot more about this than they used to and are ready to take action. We are very encouraged by the research findings; consumers have the power to drive big changes if they get behind the right causes and alter their demand accordingly. We can help ‘nudge’ them towards these causes and decisions through ethically designed technology. This type of action is crucial, especially as Earth Day 2021 is the most important Earth Day to date.

“As consumer demand for more sustainable and ethical products grows, brands, retailers, manufacturers and governments will have to adapt accordingly and collaborate. We have created the Ignite programme for that exact reason; we have to work together to fix the problem.”

The research shows how consumers are ready to adapt their lifestyles and behaviour, and many are looking to technological innovation for support in this process to help ‘nudge’ them towards greener decisions. 52% acknowledge technology will be crucial for enabling sustainable living (58% for men and 48% for women).

Government policy is also a hot issue. A strong majority (70%) want the UK government to take drastic action and introduce new, strict regulations to ensure packaging from businesses is fully recyclable or compostable in an effort to combat the plastic waste crisis (a key issue for Earth Day 2021). In addition, a similarly strong majority (64%) are calling for legislation to make sure businesses are obliged to make their environmental footprint visible on all their products

Education is also a key focus for consumers. Three quarters (74%) are calling on the government to work together with the business sector to improve consumer guidance and education on recycling.

The research also reveals another important trend: consumers, while they are keen to improve their own behaviour, are placing the bulk of the responsibility on brands for climate action – 73% now say that businesses have a moral responsibility to minimise their environmental impact. But consumers are not afraid of policing their counterparts and leading by example. 40% of consumers would reportedly back financial penalties for anyone failing to recycle recyclable products.

In addition, the research findings highlight the importance of collaboration. A large majority (78%) of consumers say that it’s up to businesses, local and national government to all work together with consumers to tackle the crisis collectively.

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