More consumers intent on boycotting brands over climate change

By our News Team | 2021

Most people want to see that brands are making the right choices about the environment, and 59% are willing to boycott those that err.

Global research released in early December indicates that, in the next 12 months, 59% of consumers worldwide intend to start boycotting brands who don’t take action on climate change. 

There is also almost unanimous support for companies to not only do the right thing for the planet, but also to ‘lead by example’. More than 90% of people want brands to demonstrate they are making positive choices about the planet and environment in everything they do.

The Rise of Sustainable Media is a global study by Dentsu International and Microsoft Advertising into consumer attitudes and behaviours linked to sustainable consumption and advertising, and how this could redefine business strategy for corporate growth.

Its findings examine consumer awareness and engagement issues linked to sustainable consumption and media use. More than 24,000 people from 19 countries participated in the research.

Climate Change

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

According to the researchers, the willingness and desire to actively embrace more sustainable lifestyles has crossed over to the mainstream, with 87% of those surveyed saying they want to do more to combat climate change. In fact, climate change is the most commonly identified concern by consumers, ahead of the Covid-19 pandemic (85%), the health of their friends and family (79%), or the cost of living (76%).

Thirty percent will pay more for greener alternatives

With climate change topping their concerns, almost half (45%) of people say they would consider alternative brands, companies or services which are greener or more environmentally friendly than their current choices. Moreover, 30% of respondents say they are willing to pay more for brands offering those greener alternatives.

However, many consumers don’t know where to start, and feel overwhelmed by options and conflicting information: 84% said it is difficult to know whether brands and companies are truly good green citizens. To help tackle this potential disinformation dilemma, 42% of people now think companies should provide clear, comparable information on the footprint of their products and advertising in order to make them greener.

Peter Huijboom, Global CEO, Media & Global Clients at Dentsu International, comments: “The customer actions and potential boycotts we unearthed in our research are squarely down to the consumer’s perception of a company and its behaviour, not necessarily the reality.  We know many organisations are already taking positive action on climate change. As marketing experts it’s our responsibility to guide businesses and help educate and inform their customers, in order make them think, feel and act differently.

As such, the marketing and advertising industry also has a critical role to play and we need to work collaboratively to do this authentically; by walking the walk in how we deliver these messages through sustainable media.”