Saving the planet starts at home

Global Ipsos' survey for the World Economic Forum finds two out of three adults saying they have modified their behavior out of concern about climate change; top actions relate to water and energy use at home, waste management, and food choices.

The author(s)
  • Chris Jackson Public Affairs, US
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Davos, January 21, 2020 — Sixty-nine percent of nearly 20,000 men and women surveyed across 28 countries say they have modified their consumer behaviour out of concern about climate change: 17% say they have made a lot of changes over the past few years and 52% say they have made a few, while only 23% say they have not made any. These are some of the findings of a new Ipsos' survey conducted on behalf of the World Economic Forum. Countries where consumers are most likely to report having made any changes to counteract climate change are: India (88%), Mexico (86%), Chile (86%), China (85%), Malaysia (85%) and Peru (84%).

Japan is the only country surveyed where only a minority (31%) say they have made any changes to their behaviour out of concern about climate change while nearly half (47%) say they have not. The three other countries where more than one third of those surveyed say they have not made any changes are the United States (36%), the Netherlands (35%), and Russia (35% as well).

Overall, at the global level, individual actions most widely taken out of concern about climate change center around the home:

  • The amount of water used at home (cited by 60% of those who have made any changes, i.e., 41% of all adults surveyed)
  • The volume and frequency of recycling (57% / 39%)
  • The amount of energy used at home (55% / 38%)
  • The volume and frequency of reusing products (50% / 35%)
  • Food purchased (46% / 32%)
  • Home appliances (41% / 28%)

Among people who have made any changes out of concern for climate change, some actions are cited far more widely in a few countries than the global average: 

  • The amount of water used at home in South Africa;
  • The volume and frequency of recycling and reusing products in Australia, Canada, Great Britain and New Zealand;
  • The amount of energy used at home in the Netherlands;
  • Food purchases in Germany;
  • One’s mode of transportation for commuting in China;
  • The volume and frequency of composting in Canada and New Zealand, and;
  • One’s motor vehicle in India.
These are the results of an Ipsos survey conducted on the Global Advisor online platform among 19,964 adults aged 18-74 in the United States, Canada, Malaysia, South Africa, and Turkey, and 16-74 in 23 other countries. The survey was fielded between October 25 and November 8, 2019.
The sample consists of approximately 1,000 individuals in each of Australia, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland), France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Spain, Great Britain and the U.S., and 500 individuals in each of Argentina, Belgium, Chile, Hungary, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, South Africa, Sweden and Turkey.
The samples in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, and the U.S. can be taken as representative of these countries’ general adult population under the age of 75.
The samples in Brazil, Chile, China (mainland), India, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Turkey are more urban, more educated, and/or more affluent than the general population. The survey results for these countries should be viewed as reflecting the views of the more “connected” segment of these populations.
The data is weighted so that each country’s sample composition best reflects the demographic profile of the adult population according to the most recent census data.
Where results do not sum to 100 or the ‘difference’ appears to be +/-1 more/less than the actual, this may be due to rounding, multiple responses or the exclusion of don't knows or not stated responses.
The precision of Ipsos online polls are calculated using a credibility interval with a poll of 1,000 accurate to +/- 3.5 percentage points and of 500 accurate to +/- 4.8 percentage points. For more information on the Ipsos use of credibility intervals, please visit the Ipsos website.
The author(s)
  • Chris Jackson Public Affairs, US

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