INDEPENDENT NEWS

Kiwi youth feeling the heat

Published: Tue 11 Feb 2020 09:26 AM
New research confirms Kiwi youth are socially aware and concerned about the protection of the environment they are living in.
Colmar Brunton’s Better Futures report released today in conjunction with the Sustainable Business Council surveyed 1500 New Zealanders, including the views of 13-17 year-olds for the first time.
It revealed that youth are most mindful of the effects of suicide on their peers, highlighting it as their biggest concern along with plastic waste and pollution of water.
Head of Colmar Brunton Sarah Bolger says climate change, sustainability and waste remain key concerns for New Zealanders. Almost half (46%) of New Zealanders say they want the government to lead the way on the issue of climate change. Of that group, 76% say environmental policies influence how they vote.
76% of those surveyed say they don’t think business is doing enough to reduce its environmental impact and 24% of New Zealanders say businesses should lead the way on climate change.
"People want government and business be part of the solution. Strong leadership is likely to spur them into increasing their individual action," Bolger says.
Waste remains an issue
The latest research also highlights some interesting perceptions around waste.
The government’s ban on single-use plastic bags was big news last year, but it’s clear the ban was not a silver bullet, with 69% saying they are still highly concerned about the build-up of plastic in the environment.
Bolger says, "There has been broader awakening on waste and household shoppers are becoming more astute. Consumers are aware that waste doesn’t just refer to plastic. They are starting to reuse and recycle more than they used to. They want brands to care about waste, pollution, recycling and plastic build-up. They also want clearer guidelines on labelling for what to do with packaging."
People are taking action with the environment in mind, but Bolger says it’s still not easy to be environmentally friendly.
Opportunity for business
Looking to the future, 72% of youth say it’s important their future employer is socially and environmentally responsible, indicating workplaces with these values are more likely to attract talent.
Bolger says there is a shift towards plant-based eating with almost half (49%) of Kiwis recognising a change in diet can impact the environment.
There are big opportunities for businesses and brands that listen to consumer needs, communicate about sustainable benefits to their consumers and provide innovative solutions, Bolger says.
"With 48% of Kiwis saying they have deliberately switched to a brand that is more sustainable, there is an opportunity to engage with the public about their growing concern. There is an imperative for organisations and businesses to future-proof themselves in a rapidly changing landscape."
SBC executive director Mike Burrell says there is room for business to be proactive on sustainability.
"Over 100 business leaders have signed on to the Climate Leaders Coalition and there are over 100 companies in our membership, representing a strong shift towards sustainability.
"Businesses that have sustainability embedded in their strategy are starting to see their bottom line improve."

Next in Business, Science, and Tech

Misinformation Circulating On Biodiversity Policy
By: Forest And Bird
Scientists Say Methane Emitted By Humans ‘vastly Underestimated’
By: NIWA
Record Dry Spells And Effects On Forests – Expert Reaction
By: Science Media Centre
Official Cash Rate Remains At 1.0 Percent
By: The Reserve Bank of New Zealand
Novel coronavirus detected in China –Expert Reaction
By: Science Media Centre
Launch Of Parliament Petition To Remove Aluminium Dross
By: New Zealand First Party
UPDATE: Elderly West Coast Man To Lose 70% Of Farm In SNA ‘landgrab’.
By: Lois Williams - Local Democracy Reporter
Blatant Attack On Private Property Rights
By: New Conservative
Scaling Climate Finance: Forest Finance Instruments
By: The Policy Observatory
Biodiversity process earns praise
By: Forest And Bird - Federated Farmers
Global Rescue Plan to Stop Mass Extinction 'Hopelessly Weak'
By: Common Dreams
23 Former Diplomats Urge Global Leaders To Adopt Paris-Style Agreement To Protect Biodiversity
By: Common Dreams - Jessica Corbett
Scoop Coverage: Biodiversity Information and Journalism
By: Scoop Full Coverage
I tried to believe capitalism and the planet can coexist
By: The Conversation
Damning New Report Says Every Nation Undermining Children
By: Common Dreams - Andrea Germanos
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media