In the UK, for instance, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), which speaks on behalf of 190,000 businesses employing nearly 7 million people, has called on the government to be “relentless” in its pursuit of a net-zero economy.
Tackling the planet’s climate crisis before it’s too late has always been a seismic challenge demanding global cooperation on an unprecedented scale. The world has no room for failure.
Tony Danker, CBI Director-General
GE recently appointed a lawyer, Roger Martella, to be the first Chief Sustainability Officer in its 125-year history.
Sustainability priorities are woven into all that we do to innovate the technology to solve the pressing global challenges of the energy transition, precision health, and the future of flight.
This is right for both business and the planet.
Roger Martella, Chief Sustainability Officer, GE
The court of public opinion
The scientific research pointing to a need for huge shifts in the way we live and work is unarguable, and many businesses have responded with commitments to do things differently and better.
The urgency with which these commitments are being made has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic; consumer research in multiple markets over the past year has highlighted a perhaps surprising finding: that public concern about the environment has intensified.
A strong role is emerging for market researchers to help businesses bring about the changes the planet requires, by helping organisations prioritise, strategise, identify opportunities and communicate effectively for maximum impact.
Market research plays an important role in shifting the global narrative and understanding emerging consumers.
Our collective future is dependent on the cumulative outcome of our actions today. How we consume matters more than ever and market research can aid massively in understanding how economies shift and how the next generation of consumers and change-makers think.
Lila Gaafar, spokeswoman for the United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP, the UN's "environmental conscience"
Charting the way to effective change
Market researchers in the UK recently formed the Insight Climate Collective (ICC), a group calling on the industry to unite to help tackle the environmental crisis. The group includes more than 300 industry professionals, including from global insights providers such as GfK, Ipsos and Kantar.
We strongly believe that our industry can have and should have an impact on the climate to the same degree as any professional services sector can
The carbon footprint of the industry – travel aside – is not huge, but we have a huge opportunity to influence because we can bring to bear the consumer’s voice, we can leverage trends and predictive analytics to show how consumer sentiment is changing and how fast it’s changing.
Louise McLaren, founder and director with marketing strategy and research agency Trust
This all makes strong business sense for users of research, because the risk of taking no action is potentially catastrophic, as is the risk of misjudging public opinion and coming across as lacking authenticity.