Asia's young adults most likely to favor low-carbon brands
A new study from the Carbon Trust reveals a divide between Generation Y's attitude to carbon reduction in the Asia and West.
The study, which questioned over 2,500 young people aged 18-25, across five continents in Brazil, China, South Africa, South Korea, UK and the USA, sought to understand whether tomorrow's consumers are concerned about climate change and will favor brands that reduce their carbon emissions.
The research, which was commissioned by the Carbon Trust and conducted by TNS, reveals that Generation Y in China is leading the call for brands to reduce their impact on the environment. 83 percent of young people questioned in China say they would be more loyal to a brand if they could see it was reducing its carbon footprint, compared to 73 percent in Korea, 55 percent in the UK and 57 percent in the USA.
Sixty percent of Chinese young adults who participated in the research say they would stop buying a product if its manufacturer refused to commit to measuring and reducing its carbon footprint, followed by 57 percent in Brazil, 53 percent in Korea and 35 percent and 36 percent in the US and UK respectively.
"These new findings are startling. Perhaps it is the Chinese, and not the US consumer, that really holds the key to unlocking the mass demand for the new low-carbon products necessary to deliver an environmentally sustainable economy," said Tom Delay, chief executive of the Carbon Trust. “If global brands don't build international carbon reduction strategies even faster, they risk missing out on the spending power of emerging economies.”
There is also evidence that young adults want brands to be clearly accountable for their action on carbon. Eighty-one percent of those questioned in Brazil said companies should be obliged to provide proof of their policy to reduce their carbon footprint, higher than any other nation. Sixty-eight percent of those surveyed worldwide want to see companies' carbon impact quantified by an independent organization. This is highest in China at 84 percent and lowest in the USA at 55 percent.
When asked which products and categories can do the most to reduce their carbon footprint 68 percent of young consumers cited consumer electronics companies in the top three, followed by consumer healthcare brands (50 percent), clothes manufacturers and retailers (50 percent), and food manufacturers and retailers (48 percent).
Through using its carbon reduction and footprinting services, Carbon Trust customers around the world have put GBP3.7 billion (USD5.9 billion) on their bottom line and cut their carbon emissions by 38 million tonnes.
"Carbon footprinting makes perfect business sense. We are increasingly advising businesses overseas, and international brands, on their carbon reduction strategies, as the financial and reputational benefits of lowering emissions go global," says Delay.
Key statistics from the research
Across the six markets, the research suggests that...
* 78 percent want their favorite brands to help reduce their carbon footprint. This is highest in China (88 percent), followed by South Africa (86 percent), Brazil (84 percent), Korea (81 percent) and USA and UK (66 percent).
* 70 percent would be more loyal to a brand if they could see it is reducing its carbon footprint. This is highest in China at 83 percent, followed by Brazil at 77 percent.
* 68 percent of young adults questioned globally would like to see companies' carbon impact quantified by an independent organization - this is highest in China at 84 percent and lowest in the USA at 55 percent, in the UK it is 56 percent.
* Young adults believe consumer electronics (68 percent), consumer healthcare brands (50 percent), clothes manufacturers and retailers (50 percent),and food manufacturers and retailers (48 percent),have the greatest responsibility to reduce carbon.