New research from Mastercard reveals a “boom” in personal climate action, as consumer attitudes toward the environment evolve as a direct result of Covid-19.
This, says the company, signals a growing trend toward eco-conscious spending and consumption among people who want to turn their purchases into meaningful action for the planet.
Over half of Australians surveyed (57%) see reducing their carbon footprint as being more important now than they did pre-pandemic.
And as consumers become more conscious about their own actions, almost two thirds of Australians surveyed (61%) believe that companies should behave in more sustainable and eco-friendly ways since Covid-19. Millennials (67%) and Gen Z (65%) are leading this shift.
Mastercard Australasia Division President Richard Wormald says consumer behaviour among the different generations is clearly changing as people’s priorities shift.
“Many of the longer-term changes that are occurring as a result of Covid-19 are still being formed, giving organisations an opportunity to help shape the ‘next normal’,” he says.
“The research suggests that consumers are increasingly expecting organisations to promote sustainable initiatives. Australian businesses must take action to reflect these expectations if they hope to continue to engage with these consumers.”
In further findings, the research reveals that reducing waste and tackling plastic pollution are the first and third most important behaviours for organisations to adopt according to Aussies (38% and 33%).
For businesses that do not have a plan to better the environment, 26% of young Australians surveyed are sending a clear message, saying they will stop buying products from these brands all together.
Digital the leading tool
The Covid-19 pandemic has made Australians more reliant on digital tools for connection and communication, with 66% of respondents seeing climate change issues being discussed across social media.
A love for memes is also said to be helping young Aussies notice climate change, with 30% of surveyed Gen Z’s stating they’ve seen associated issues showcased in memes during the pandemic.