Sustainability is at the forefront of everyone’s minds. In 2019, Corporate Social Responsibility represented 9% of TV advertising investment and by 2020, this figure had grown to 15%. Media and brands have a huge responsibility in supporting the evolution of consumers mindsets and behaviours. Our Responsible Brands in Europe study, charting consumer behaviour across four European countries, shows that most people expect the media and brands to inform and advise them on sustainability and the climate crisis.
Most of those surveyed (71%) said they realise that the world is experiencing a climate crisis and, in the UK, France, Germany and Italy, around 80% of consumers stated they act more responsibly when it comes to protecting the environment. Between 62% and 88% of respondents in the surveyed countries expect the media to inform and advise them on environmental topics.
Consumers also have high expectations in terms of communication on brand responsibility, with over eight in ten Europeans wanting brands to communicate more about their values and commitments. However, when Europeans were asked to name responsible brands, 40% were unable to name a single brand and nine out of ten think it’s difficult to determine if a brand truly acts responsibly.
Comparing attitudes to the environment in different countries, there are deep disparities, with 36% of Italians saying they were unaware of the concept of a ‘carbon footprint’, compared to 5% of Britons. Meanwhile, 54% of British respondents are not aware of digital pollution, compared with 22% of French people.
Italians are the most mobilized on the environment and climate change while the British lag behind their European neighbours in that area in last position. On food, Italians are far ahead in embracing organic, local, and seasonal products. Germans are big cyclists but tend to travel further from home to go on vacation, like Brits. In the hygiene / beauty sector, Italians are very fond of natural products and Germans opt for eco-friendly products, such as ecological nappies.
When it comes to media consumption, the report found that most people expect to be informed on environmental matters primarily on television. In addition, people expect information on the products they buy as well as on the companies themselves. Most French people even want advertising to provide information on responsible actions. Media groups and production companies are responding to the increased consumer demand for information and education regarding protecting the planet and are now integrating the topic into their programming and content development. Brands can really be at the forefront of the shift towards sustainability.