London, 2nd April, 2012:
A new study from the Carbon Trust reveals a divide between
Generation Y's attitude
to carbon reduction in the East 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 favour 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% 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% in Korea, 55% in the UK and 57% in the
USA. 60% 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% in Brazil, 53% in Korea and 35% and 36% in the US
and UK respectively.
Tom Delay, Chief Executive of the Carbon Trust, comments, "These
new findings are startling. 60% of young adults questioned in China
would stop buying a product if its manufacturer refused to commit
to measuring and reducing its carbon footprint, compared to just
35% of those in the U.S. Perhaps it is the Chinese, and not the
U.S. consumer, that really holds the key to unlocking the mass
demand for the new low carbon products necessary to deliver an
environmentally sustainable economy. 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. 81% 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. 68% of those surveyed worldwide want to see
companies' carbon impact quantified by an independent organisation.
This is highest in China at 84% and lowest in the USA at 55%.
Across all the markets, on average a third of young consumers (33%)
say they are prepared to buy a more expensive product if it has a
lower carbon footprint.
When asked which products and categories can do the most to
reduce their carbon footprint 68% of young consumers cited consumer
electronics companies in the top three, followed by consumer
healthcare brands (50%), clothes manufacturers and retailers (50%),
and food manufacturers and retailers (48%).
Through using its carbon reduction and footprinting services,
Carbon Trust customers around the world have put £3.7 billion on
their bottom line and cut their carbon emissions by 38 million
"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
Later this week, the Carbon Trust will launch its
Standard in Korea and announce the first four Asian companies
to receive the Carbon Trust Standard for reducing their
organisational carbon footprints. And today it opens a novel
new exhibition in London to showcase company action on
carbon. The world's first 'Carbon Footprinting' Gallery, will
explore the proactive steps global brands, including Tesco, Danone,
Manchester United and BT, are taking to lower their carbon
footprint. The exhibition takes place at the Future Gallery
in London from 2nd April - 4th April.
Key Statistics from the Research
Across the six markets, the research suggests that...
- 78% want their favourite brands to help reduce their carbon
footprint. This is highest in China (88%), followed by South
Africa (86%), Brazil (84%), Korea (81%) and USA and UK (66%)
- 70% would be more loyal to a brand if they could see it is
reducing its carbon footprint. This is highest in China at
83%, followed by Brazil at 77%
- 68% of young adults questioned globally would like to see
companies' carbon impact quantified by an independent organisation
- this is highest in China at 84%and lowest in the USA at 55%, in
the UK it is 56%
- Young adults believe consumer electronics (68%), consumer
healthcare brands (50%),clothes manufacturers and retailers
(50%),and food manufacturers and retailers (48%),have the greatest
responsibility to reduce carbon
- 46% would find carbon footprinting on packaging useful and it
would influence their purchase. This rises to 63%in Brazil,
53%in China, 52% South Africa.33%in the UK and 34%in the USA would
find it useful
- 33% would buy a more expensive product if it had a lower carbon
footprint - of those prepared to spend more, they would be prepared
to pay a mean average of 28% more for lower carbon
- 29% of young adults globally want to reduce their carbon
footprint but are confused about how to go about it
- 28% of young adults globally are trying to reduce their carbon
footprint but feel they could do more and 21% feel they are doing
their bit to reduce their carbon footprint
Infographic - How do today's young consumers perceive carbon
Survey results - Global survey of young adults' perceptions of
carbon and climate change (PDF)
1. Males and Females aged
About the Research
The research was conducted online by TNS using Lightspeed
Research and its preferred partner panels between 24th February and
6th March 2012. Males and females aged 18-25 were interviewed
across six different countries -US (501), UK (501), South Korea
(500), Brazil (500), China (500) and South Africa (300). Due to the
nature of online research, the data is indicative of the attitudes
and behaviour of young people in these countries.
About the Carbon Trust
The Carbon Trust is a not for profit group with the
mission to accelerate the move to a low carbon
We advise businesses, governments and the public sector on their
opportunities in a sustainable, low carbon world.
We measure and certify the environmental footprint of
organisations, supply chains and products.
We help develop and deploy low carbon technologies and
solutions, from energy efficiency to renewable power.