The Climate Group has unveiled the UK’s first Climate Brand Index, which it hopes will act as a benchmark of consumer perceptions of how brands are performing on climate change.
The research, released today (Monday), shows that awareness of brands’ corporate policy on the environment is low, with the majority of consumers – 68% – unable to identify any brand as taking a lead on climate change without prompting.
The research also shows that over 80% of mass-market consumers have made some effort to reduce their environmental impact, though the proportion who make buying decisions influenced by green issues is half that. Importantly, consumers say they expect mass-market brands to help them become greener.
The Cliamte Group says it is clear that green behaviour is no longer a niche activity. The research, conducted over the summer, currently puts Tesco at the top of the Climate Brand Index. The top five in the Climate Brand Index are
Tesco, BP, The Co-operative Group, Marks & Spencer, and Sainsbury’s.
The research segments consumers into six “tribes” and shows how UK consumers are motivated by distinct drivers, which require different approaches from brands. Climate Group says the main differences to emerge are those within the most engaged part of the market: the contrast between the concerned but pessimistic “campaigners”, and the feelgood “optimists” and their “seen-to-be-green” followers.
David Hall, international campaign director of “Together” at The Climate Group, says: “This is a nail in the coffin for ‘greenwash’. Consumers want to act on climate change and expect their favourite brands to make it easier for them.
“It is clear big brands need to work harder to connect with consumers on climate change through initiatives like ‘Together’. We are seeing a huge commercial opportunity for mainstream brands that understand the subtlety of this emerging market and demonstrate green substance over green spin.”