While the public and private sector are both crucially important for climate progress, sustainability experts say that we need more public understanding and engagement to ensure effective implementation of the Paris Agreement climate goals. When asked to spontaneously name barriers to effective implementation, one in five sustainability experts mention this lack of public engagement. This suggests the need to focus more on large-scale public education efforts on climate change and engagement to increase public pressure to respond to humanity’s “Code … “Insight of the Week: Experts Say More Public Engagement Is Needed to Effectively Implement Paris Agreement Climate Goals”
Keep up to date with our latest news, webinars, and reports.
Keep up to date with our latest news, webinars, and reports.
People around the world agree that large companies have a responsibility to encourage governments to do more on climate change, especially in non-OECD countries. This sentiment is stronger than ever in 2021 and has increased dramatically among people in key emitting countries – China, India, and USA – as well as in France and Germany. People today are more aware of climate change impacts happening around them, and with that comes greater expectation for action from their governments and the … “Insight of the Week: People Want Large Companies to Encourage Governments to Address Climate Change”
When asked about issues in the food system, most consumers express concern about all issues tested. People are particularly worried about chemicals in agriculture and waste from single-use plastic packaging. Issues that relate to food production and transport are comparatively lower sources of concern. This shows that a significant majority of consumers around the world are thinking about these global food system issues. As awareness grows, so will the expectation that players in the food system take action to address … “Insight of the Week: High Consumer Concern about Issues in the Food System”
Around the world, nearly half of consumers say that national governments have the greatest influence to build a more healthy and sustainable food system. More than one-third of consumers believe that food & beverage companies are best placed to achieve positive change, but just one in five feel that “people like me” can play a role in building a more healthy and sustainable food system. This suggests that consumers are feeling unempowered and are looking to governments and companies to help them … “Insight of the Week: Consumers Rate Governments and Food & Beverage Companies as Key to a Sustainable Food System”
People in all 31 countries and territories surveyed express high levels of concern about the changing climate, with overwhelming majorities everywhere seeing climate change as at least “somewhat serious.” Latin Americans and people in Southern Europe tend to be the most concerned about climate change. Perceived seriousness is lowest in Australia, Russia, and the USA, yet even in these countries, eight in ten people view climate change as a serious issue. These findings demonstrate a backdrop of public support for … “Insight of the Week: Concern about Climate Change Is High across the World”
People in Nigeria, Colombia, Turkey, Portugal, South Africa, and Saudi Arabia express the most concern about human rights abuses. Perceived seriousness is lowest in Asian countries, including China and South Korea. Women and younger people tend to be more strongly concerned about human rights abuses, with Gen Z respondents being the most worried. This suggests that the issue will become increasingly relevant over time, with younger people expecting more attention paid to human rights along with accountability from governments and … “Insight of the Week: Concern About Human Rights Varies Across the World”
Sustainability experts’ concern about biodiversity loss has increased substantially over the past decade, with more experts than ever now saying that this is an urgent issue. This sentiment is shared across all stakeholder audiences and geographies, especially among experts in the NGO sector and in North America. Biodiversity loss is the second-highest concern for sustainability experts after climate change and suggests a growing expectation for more action on the nature agenda by governments, companies and NGOs. Data source: GlobeScan / … “Insight of the Week: Sustainability Experts Have Become Increasingly Concerned About Biodiversity Loss Over Past Decade”
A majority of Corporate Affairs professionals – nearly three-quarters – feel that their company is interested in taking a public advocacy position on issues. This view is shared by experts across industries, with a stronger appetite for corporate activism in the food, agriculture, and forestry sector (80%). Those in financial and professional services perceive a slightly lower interest in corporate activism from their organizations (67%). This suggests that companies are increasingly aware of their role in managing global challenges and … “Insight of the Week: Corporate Affairs Professionals Indicate an Appetite for Activism Among Companies”
Perceived seriousness of climate change has reached its highest level since tracking began 23 years ago, with over six in ten across 17 markets now saying that climate change is “very serious.” Global concern and engagement around climate issues is growing and is expected to increase over the next several years. People in Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, and Turkey are the most concerned about climate change. In the USA, concern is historically high (53% say it is “very serious”) and … “Insight of the Week: Public Concern About Climate Change is at its Highest Level Since 1998”
Four in ten Corporate Affairs professionals now feel they are building stakeholder trust that their business operates in society’s best interest, a significant increase from a year ago. This could be due in part to positive feedback companies have received as a result of their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Heightened trust in business may also indicate the successes of stakeholder engagement in working to better understand societal and environmental impacts. Data source: Oxford-GlobeScan Global Corporate Affairs Survey Report 2021
GlobeScan is an independent, employee-owned insights consultancy whose mission is to help co-create a more sustainable and equitable future. We work with large companies, NGOs and multi-lateral organizations to help them better understand and respond to stakeholder expectations and societal issues.
The only way we can do this effectively is through the generous participation of our expert community in our research projects. In return, we will share exclusive reports, invite you to interesting webinars and make donations to One Tree Planted, a leading reforestation charity.
Are you interested in our work? To get involved join our expert community where your opinions will help shape the direction of some of the most influential organizations in the world.
Overall, experts are now more optimistic that the pandemic will not derail action on sustainable development. In 2020, almost half of sustainability professionals predicted a de-prioritization of the sustainability agenda over the coming decade as a result of the coronavirus. Now just one in four experts believe this will happen. Furthermore, a third of experts believe more attention will be given to the environment due to the pandemic. However, COVID-19 is perceived to be exacerbating socio-economic challenges, with nearly four … “Insight of the Week: Stakeholders Predict Inequality as Biggest Outcome from the Pandemic; Much Less Pessimistic on Sustainability”
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) remains the most widely recognized NGO for its contribution to sustainable development, followed by Greenpeace and World Resources Institute (WRI). Professionals in the NGO and corporate sectors and those based in Asia-Pacific and Europe tend to be more likely to see World Wildlife Fund as a sustainability leader than respondents from other sectors and regions. While the selection of most-recognized NGOs has remained almost the same compared to last year, Greta Thunberg’s climate-focused youth movement, Fridays … “Insight of the Week: WWF, Greenpeace, and WRI Are Viewed as Leading NGOs in Advancing Sustainable Development”
Unilever remains the company most recognized by sustainability professionals across the world for its sustainability leadership, followed by Patagonia, Natura &Co, and IKEA. While the top ten companies are largely consistent over the past few years, there are some new entrants this year in the top 15 group of companies, including Kering, Schneider Electric, and Suzano. A commitment to an ambitious business model and strategy is increasingly seen as the defining attribute of corporate sustainability. Data source: GlobeScan / SustainAbility … “Insight of the Week: Unilever, Patagonia, Natura &Co, and IKEA Most Recognized For Their Sustainability Leadership”
Out of the 27 countries surveyed an overwhelming percentage (up to 92%) want governments to take stronger action to protect nature, even if it means restricting business activities. On World Conservation Day it is important to highlight the public’s desire for governments to act now. This is especially the case in developing countries with those in Kenya, Mexico and Vietnam agreeing the most that governments should take strong action. People in Japan agree the least (although still over 50%). Data … “Insight of the Week: Strong Public Support for Government Action to Protect Nature, Even if it Restricts Business Activity”
Corporate Affairs experts rank employees as their most important stakeholder group, followed by shareholders and the investment community. This finding highlights corporate efforts to connect with employees during COVID-19 and speaks to the importance of maintaining a talented workforce for long-term growth, especially in a time of purpose-driven business. Data source: Oxford-GlobeScan Global Corporate Affairs Survey Report 2021
ESG performance tops the list of Corporate Affairs risk priorities globally for organizations, and Corporate Affairs professionals surveyed across the world point to climate change as the most pressing ESG issue. While climate change broadly is less top-of-mind since last year, there is a dramatic increase in concern around net zero and carbon emissions as a critical issue. This suggests that Corporate Affairs priorities are becoming more focused on net zero strategies. The COP 26 meeting in Glasgow later this … “Insight of the Week: Corporate Affairs Professionals Say Climate Change is the Most Pressing ESG Issue for Global Business”
Corporate Action on Inequality Requires a Value Chain Approach Building Corporate Leadership in Addressing Inequality, 2021 According to in-depth interviews with key opinion formers, the inequality agenda stretches wide and deep across a company’s value chain. To drive real equity at scale, these actions need to extend beyond the corporate workplace to the supply chain, communities, customers, external partners, and through public policy. Meaningful action on inequality requires a holistic approach across the value chain where no one is left … “Insight of the Week: Corporate Action on Inequality Requires a Value Chain Approach”
A Third of Sustainability Experts Identifying as Minorities Have Experienced Discrimination in Their Careers % of Respondents Identifying as Minority Group Who Have Experienced Discrimination in Sustainability (n=93), 2021 Among sustainability professionals who identify as a member of a minority group,* more than one-third say discrimination has negatively affected their career in sustainability. In a recent survey of 496 sustainability experts in 75 countries, only 12 percent say they are part of a minority racial or ethnic group, and even … “Insight of the Week: A Third of Sustainability Experts Identifying as Minorities Have Experienced Discrimination in Their Careers”
A Third of Female Sustainability Professionals Have Experienced Discrimination in Their Careers % of Respondents Not Identifying as Male Who Have Experienced Discrimination in Sustainability (n=161), 2021 In GlobeScan and The SustainAbility Institute by ERM‘s recent survey of 496 sustainability experts in 75 countries, only 39 percent identify as female, suggesting the sustainability field remains male-dominated overall. The gender gap narrows to about 50-50 in corporate roles and among experts in North America. Around the world, newcomers to the profession … “Insight of the Week: A Third of Female Sustainability Professionals Have Experienced Discrimination in Their Careers”
Four Key Drivers of Inequality in the Coming Years Major Trends, 2021 Rising inequality is a defining challenge of our time and current approaches to addressing it are perceived to be highly insufficient. A multi-stakeholder research project identified four mega-trends (health, future of work, social divisions, and climate change) both as drivers and as possible areas for solutions to respond to this complex challenge. These wider cross-cutting trends provide a great starting point for identifying pathways to effective action in … “Insight of the Week: Four Key Drivers of Inequality in the Coming Years”
We leverage the largest network of sustainability professionals in the world to produce resources that provide leaders with the inspiration, insight and counsel they need to fully embrace the opportunities and challenges of our world. See how we can support your work.
GlobeScan is a certified B Corporation, which means we meet the highest standards of overall social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability and aspire to use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.
Circular Economy, Food Systems, and Biodiversity Are Key Focus Areas for the EU Green Deal Priority vs Progress, Expert Stakeholders, 2021 Stakeholders rated a range of sustainability issues on two dimensions – level of priority and progress made. Two issues – clean energy and climate – are areas where priorities and progress are both viewed as being strong. Circularity, food systems, and nature are all issues where priorities are high, but where progress is seen to be weak. These areas … “Insight of the Week: Circular Economy, Food Systems, and Biodiversity Are Key Focus Areas for the EU Green Deal”
High Concern about Climate Change Persists During the COVID-19 Pandemic Seriousness of Climate Change and Global Warming, “Very Serious,” Average of 17 Markets,* 2003–2020 Even with parallel worries about COVID-19 and the economy, environmental issues are still highly concerning for people around the world. Across 17 markets surveyed over the past two decades, a majority continue to think of a range of environmental issues as being “very serious.” Concern about climate change has grown dramatically since 2014 and continues to … “Insight of the Week: High Concern about Climate Change Persists During the COVID-19 Pandemic”
Strong Support for Government Efforts to Reduce Future Pandemics through Ending Deforestation Consumers in China, Myanmar, Thailand, the U.S., and Vietnam, 2021 As human activities such as deforestation increase the risk of disease transfer between animals and humans, an overwhelming majority of people in China, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and the U.S. support government action to curb this destructive practice. Identifying and capitalizing on public support for measures helps drive policy change. Given the strong support for preserving forests, there is … “Insight of the Week: Strong Support for Government Efforts to Reduce Future Pandemics through Ending Deforestation”
People in Most Countries Say Their Governments Are Doing a Poor Job of Protecting Nature and Wildlife Performance of National Government on Protecting Nature and Wildlife, Net Performance,* by Country, 2020 National governments are widely seen as being poor performers when it comes to protecting the natural world. Out of 27 countries and territories surveyed, only those in Asia and Saudi Arabia rate government mostly positively. Saudi Arabian, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Indian respondents rate their governments positively on protecting nature … “Insight of the Week: People in Most Countries Say Their Governments Are Doing a Poor Job of Protecting Nature and Wildlife”