SustainAbility climate change survey

Last month UK-based business consultancy SustainAbility published the results of its 2015 “Globescan” survey of “qualified sustainability experts”. 624 respondents from around the world, although with a bias towards Europe and North America, completed an online survey on their expectations for COP21. Respondents included people working in business, academia, media, NGOs and government.

Some interesting findings from the report:

Scientists, NGOs and UN are seen as making the largest contributions to “advancing solutions to climate change”, with the private sector, religious communities and (worryingly) national governments at the bottom of the list. Conversely, respondents felt that national governments and the private sector should be doing the most to advance climate change solutions, suggesting a large expectations gap.

Respondents were asked to name the companies they felt had made the biggest contribution to climate change solutions, and Unilever topped the list, followed by Tesla, IKEA, Google and GE. Can’t help thinking it’s a pity they didn’t do a parallell list of the top ten companies contributing to climate change – full stop.

As to the reasons why these companies are seen as leaders, the top reasons are “leader in alternative energy” and “new technologies/innovation”. It seems clear that ecological modernisation is an admired strategy.

Finally, people were asked for their preferred “climate change action strategies”. They cited renewable energy and reducing carbon emissions and suggested the removal of fossil fuel subsidies and tax on GHG emissions. Perhaps most interestingly, respondents in Europe see regulatory approaches as the most effective strategy to combating climate change, while North American respondents prefer economic instruments and those in “emerging markets” stress the need for public education.

The full report is available to download here, as are lots of other useful, highly readable SustainAbility publications:


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