Climate change is a bigger concern for UK consumers than the Covid-19 pandemic and or the economy.
SEC Newgate ESG Monitor has published a research study of public attitudes to environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles, revealing that 71 per cent of British people are concerned about climate change.
The percentage of people that put the pandemic and the economy as their first concern is 70 and 67 per cent respectively.
“We live in an age of activism. The fact that climate change tops the agenda for consumers, just days before COP26, should be a wake-up call for all of us,” said Emma Kane, SEC Newgate UK’s chief executive.
“In Glasgow in November, the diplomats will be under enormous pressure to deliver new carbon reduction targets and a framework for sustainable development.
“But business will be under equal pressure afterwards to deliver a meaningful roadmap that takes us to a green and good economy. Failure will not be tolerated by consumers.”
Researchers have discovered a gap of trust between consumers and companies, as 55 per cent of UK consumers believes companies greenwash their reports, over-emphasising their ESG performance. UK consumers are also advocating for a better regulation of ESG performance that penalises those companies who perform poorly.
“We have seen ESG moving from being an investor metric to becoming a strategic tool for articulating corporate purpose and impact,” added SEC Newgate UK’s head of green and good Andrew Adie.
“Yet our research shows that corporates still have some way to go if they are to bridge the credibility gap and prevent concerns around greenwashing, ethical behaviour and a lack of authenticity seeding doubts about the motives that sit behind the strategy.
The research comes out on the same day the BBC revealed that industry stakeholders and governments have lobbied with UN scientists to alter a key report on climate change science, just a few days before world leaders meet in Glasgow for the COP26 summit.