GlobeScan

evidence and ideas. applied.

Insight of the Week: Young Consumers Are More Willing to Engage in the Sharing Economy and Circular Behaviors

Young Consumers Are More Willing to Engage in the Sharing Economy and Circular Behaviors

“Extremely” and “Very Interested,” by Age, Average of 27 Countries, 2020

Globally, younger people are consistently more interested in circular behaviors like using returnable containers for purchases or renting and sharing items. Those over 30 years old are less likely to favor the shared economy model.

Consumers across age groups are interested in actions that support circular behavior. They are most interested in activities where retailers help customers reuse or return, repair, and/or recycle.

Brands exploring circular solutions should begin engagement and communications with Gen Z and Millennials, as these cohorts are most interested in these new types of consumption behaviors.

Notes:

  • Question wording: How interested are you in doing more of each of the following in the coming year? Renting items such as furniture or clothing / Bring my own reusable containers to the store for refilling / Buying food or household products in returnable containers / Returning items to the store where I got them for reuse, repair or recycling / Sharing products with others in my community.
  • Data source: GlobeScan’s 2020 Healthy & Sustainable Living Report, survey of 27,000 people in the general public in June 2020.

GlobeScan’s 2020 Healthy & Sustainable Living Report

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Insight of the Week: Consumers Rate Health, Food, and Tech Sectors Highest on Social Responsibility

Consumers Rate Health, Food, and Tech Sectors Highest on Social Responsibility

Performance of Sectors in Fulfilling Their Responsibilities to Society,
Net Performance,* Average of 27 Countries, 2020

There is great variability in the reputation of sectors across the economy.

Sectors providing essential services are rated particularly highly:

  • Healthcare companies are rated the highest while pharmaceutical companies are a few ranks behind.
  • Agriculture/farming, food, technology, and consumer goods sectors have all been instrumental in meeting essential needs during COVID-19.

This highlights a reliance on business resilience in challenging times.

Sectors associated with negative health or environmental impacts – tobacco, mining, alcohol, and oil – have net negative responsibility ratings.

Notes:

  • Question wording: Please rate each of the following types of companies on how well they fulfill their responsibilities to society compared to other types of companies
  • Data source: GlobeScan Radar our 27-country, 27,000-person public opinion study on views of business, government and NGOs, issues tracking, and shifting societal expectations.

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Insight of the Week: Women Are Significantly More Likely Than Men to Use Their Buying Power to Make a Difference

Women Are Significantly More Likely Than Men to Use Their Buying Power to Make a Difference ​

Changed Purchase Choices to Make a Difference on Issues
By Gender, Average of 27 Countries, 2020

GlobeScan’s data consistently show that women are more concerned about social and environmental issues and are more likely to use their power as consumers to address these concerns. Data show that females are significantly more likely than males to say they have changed their purchasing choices in the past year to make a difference on an economic, environmental, social, or political issue that they care about. This suggests a massive opportunity to engage women to help drive the sustainability agenda from both a policy and consumer perspective.

Notes:

  • Question wording: In the past year, have you done any of the following to make a difference on an economic, environmental, social or political issue that you care about? Please select all that apply.
  • Data source GlobeScan’s 2020 Healthy & Sustainable Living Report, survey of 27,000 people in the general public in June 2020.

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Insight of the Week: Economic Inequality Is Seen as a Bigger ​Investment Risk Than Climate Change​

Economic Inequality Is Seen as a Bigger ​Investment Risk Than Climate Change​

Shareholder Views on Investment Risk, Agree (Somewhat and Strongly), Subsample: Shareholders, Average of 27 Countries (n=9,648), 2020​​​​

Strong majorities of retail investors – people in the general population who own shares directly or indirectly – believe that both economic inequality and climate change are significant risks for shareholders. Only in South Korea and Sweden are retail investors more worried about climate change than inequality, a surprising finding given the amount of scrutiny on climate risk in financial markets.

Notes:

  • Question wording: Please indicate if you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree or strongly disagree with each of the following statements.
  • Data sourceGlobeScan Radar, our 27-country, 27,000-person public opinion study on views of business, government and NGOs, issues tracking, and shifting societal expectations.

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Insight of the Week: Urgency of Societal Challenges

Urgency of Societal Challenges

% of Experts, “Urgent” (4+5), 2011–2020​​​

The perceived urgency of acting on climate change has been steadily increasing over the last decade among those surveyed in GlobeScan and SustainAbility’s survey of sustainability professionals, with 94 percent of respondents now saying that the challenge is “very urgent.” Climate, biodiversity loss, water scarcity, and poverty have been consistently seen as the greatest social and environmental challenges facing the global community, but 2020 has also seen a dramatic rise in urgency of inequality issues like poverty, economic inequality and access to healthcare.

Notes:

  • Question wording: Considering society’s numerous sustainable development challenges, please rate the urgency of each of the following…
  • Data sourceGlobeScan / SustainAbility Survey of over 700 experts representing business, government, NGOs and academia across 71 countries​.

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Insight of the Week: Priority for Post-COVID-19 Economic Recovery

Priority for Post-COVID-19 Economic Recovery

Global Public Opinion, 2020

There is strong public support to build back better in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Majorities in 16 out of 27 markets surveyed say they would prefer to see a restructuring of the economy that addresses challenges like climate change and inequality, rather than simply getting the economy back to normal as soon as possible.

Younger generations and those with higher education are more supportive of building back better, as are people in Latin America and Europe. Asians tend to prefer a quick return to the status quo, except in China and Japan where slim majorities support a build back better approach. A slight majority of Americans are most interested in a return to the old economy.

Notes:

  • Question wording: In building the post-COVID-19 economic recovery, do you think the priority should be: A) Getting economy back to normal as soon as possible, or B) Restructuring economy so it deals better with challenges like inequality/climate change.
  • Data Source: GlobeScan Radar, our 27-country, 27,000 person public opinion study on views of business, government and NGOs, issues tracking, and shifting societal expectations.

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Our Material Consumption is Soaring, but Earth Cannot Afford Black Friday

Key Messages

  • Three-quarters of European consumers (76%) agree that we need to consume less to preserve the environment for future generations and most say that they would like to spend more time with family and friends (78%) or to spend more time in nature (74%) – activities that do not necessarily involve material consumption
  • For our consumption patterns to stay within planetary boundaries, each European would have to reduce by 80% the amount of natural resources they currently use for nutrition, housing, mobility, and leisure
  • To promote a truly sustainable consumption, European policies must go well beyond green labelling and ensure that all products and services are safe for the consumers – and the planet. The focus should be on raising consumers’ awareness regarding the impacts of overconsumption and enabling them to engage in more sustainable lifestyles
  • The regulation of advertising could help curb overconsumption while promoting a more sustainable consumption of goods and services

The COVID-19 crisis has led to major changes in Europeans’ consumption habits. From the expansion of e-commerce and the predicted increase in car sales to the soaring consumption of coffee and hair colouring products – few, if any, sectors will remain the same in a post-pandemic world.

But our planet’s resources are not infinite, and the way we consume them today – at a high rate and along a largely linear trajectory – is not sustainable. In the simplest terms, if everyone around the world consumed like Europeans, we would need three Earths’ worth of natural resources to maintain our way of life.

The EU has made strong steps towards addressing unsustainable consumption – including with the action plan on circular economy announced earlier this year. However, up to 60% of Europe’s environmental footprint linked to consumption occurs outside the EU’s borders, according to the European Environment Agency.

Concretely, for our consumption patterns to stay within planetary boundaries, each European would have to reduce by 80% the amount of natural resources they currently use for nutrition, housing, mobility, and leisure. If current models of consumption do not change, the amount of materials needed to meet customer demands could triple by 2050 compared to 2000. On a per capita-basis, Europeans consume 14 tonnes of raw material each year1, resulting in an “ecological footprint”2 of 4.3 global hectares (gha) per person in the EU, compared with the global biocapacity of 1.7 gha per person3.

This can be achieved through a combination of efficiency and sufficiency – efficiency to reduce the material footprint of everyday consumption, and sufficiency (i.e. reducing overall consumption) for those items whose footprint cannot be brought to an acceptable level by efficiency only – see the infographic on the right for some examples.

Unlocking a truly sustainable consumption

While reducing our overall consumption is necessary, much more needs to be done to encourage – and enable – people to spend more of their time and money on activities that do not involve material consumption.

At least 74% of Europeans want to engage in activities that do not necessarily involve material consumption

The study, conducted in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, found that three-quarters of EU citizens (76%) agree that we need to consume less to preserve the environment for future generations, but only around 53% say they would like to buy fewer things. A recent study by GlobeScan shows that a significant proportion of consumers in the EU would like to spend more time with family and friends (78%) or to spend more time in nature (74%). The French are particularly interested in spending more time with family and friends (80%), whereas Swedes (80%) and Germans (79%) are the keenest to spend more time in nature.

Enabling consumers

Policies, such as those in the European Green Deal, need to firstly enable consumers by providing them with access to alternative lifestyles. Such promotion of low-carbon nutrition, mobility, housing, and lifestyles would help tackle both the volume of consumption and its composition.

The policies also need to address sustainability and equity challenges linked with luxury consumption, since today, the world’s richest one per cent are responsible for more than twice as much carbon pollution as the poorest 3.1 billion people, and these deep inequalities are observed both between and within countries. In Europe, the level of material deprivation varies from 3% of the Swedish population to 47% of the Bulgarian population.

In Germany, the Ecologic Institute has co-developed a database of activities that can contribute to implementing the Sustainable Development Goal 12 on sustainable consumption and production patterns.

Once stay-at-home orders and lockdowns are eased, one example could entail creating urban and natural environments that allow people to spend recreation time on community-oriented participatory activities, like community musical and theatrical productions, or participation in sports teams and clubs.

76% of EU citizens agree that we need to consume less to preserve the environment for future generations

This in turn would lead to a decline in material consumption since phenomena such as Black Friday encourage the overconsumption of non-essential goods – from fast fashion to electrical appliances and electronic goods. These products represent 21% of the material footprint of European consumers, yet are the least essential part of our consumption, compared to housing, mobility, or nutrition. It is here that local public institutions can also play a key role in stimulating such activities, for instance, by granting free access to museums and monuments and engaging in promotional activities to raise awareness of the effects of overconsumption on the environment.

There are no EU-wide estimates on the quantity of consumer goods thrown away each year, but in France, the estimated value of consumer goods destroyed annually varies from €630 to €800 million; in Germany, it is as much as €7 billion.

Putting all the responsibility on consumers is far from the solution. European policies must go well beyond green labelling and ensure that all products and services are safe for the consumers – and the planet.

Regulation of advertising

The regulation of advertising could help curb overconsumption while promoting a more sustainable consumption of goods and services. Examples of such regulations already exist for the tobacco industry, but also in the new frameworks regarding marketing towards children. Proposals for other sectors are ample.

The New Weather Institute has called for a ban on advertising of sports utility vehicles due to the risk posed by the increasing sales of SUVs on achieving the UK climate goals. While an intense debate on the regulation of advertising is currently ongoing in France, four national chambers of commerce, representing thousands of companies from across sectors, have called for a ban on Black Friday.

Elsewhere, we have also seen the emergence of alternative actions to resist Black Friday, such as IKEA’s buy-back scheme. At the EU level, an occasion to start this debate might be created by the evaluation of the ‘New Legislative Framework for Products’ on a common framework for the marketing of products and the accreditation and CE marking provisions (REFIT). Another approach would be to challenge the marketing and advertising industry to make clear pledges as part of the climate pact.

Data centres account for around 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions – equivalent to all air traffic

Digitalisation, however, can also be used as an opportunity to address drivers of overconsumption and explore what eco-efficiency – and eco-sufficiency – means for the digital economy. Initiatives such as Nubo, a Belgian cooperative working for ethical online services and promoting digital sobriety, provide inspiration on how digitalisation and sufficiency can drive positive change. The COVID-19 crisis has led to major changes in our consumption habits, including increasing our digital consumption of products and services. Digital technologies emit 4% of all greenhouse gas emissions, and their energy consumption is increasing by 9% annually. Data centres account for around 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions – equivalent to all air traffic.

The recent study by GlobeScan found that fewer than one in five (19%) Europeans claim they need a lot of material possessions to be happy and a significant proportion of those surveyed said they would be interested in new approaches that reduce consumption, such as renting items like furniture or clothing (68%), buying used products (49%), or even sharing products with others (37%).

This shows that Europeans are willing to adopt more sustainable consumption habits. It is now up to the policymakers and the private sector to ensure that the more sustainable and safer products and activities are the easier alternatives.

This briefing was produced in collaboration between IEEP and GlobeScan.

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Notes

1. Measured as annual global material footprint, or raw material consumption (RMC); from Eurostat (2019). Material flow accounts statistics – material footprints. Retrieved 16 September 2020; URL

2. The biologically productive area required to provide space for food growing, fibre production, timber regeneration, absorption of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel burning, and accommodating built infrastructure (Global Footprint Network)

3. European Environment Agency (2020). Ecological footprint of European countries. Retrieved 21 September 2020; URL


About IEEP

The Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) is a sustainability think tank with offices in Brussels and London. As a not-for-profit research organisation with over 40 years of experience, we are committed to advancing evidence-based and impact-driven sustainability policy across the EU and the world.

Climate Change: A GlobeScan Insight

Worry about climate change remains widespread despite the pandemic and economic crisis, and continues to increase in the USA and other large emitting countries

Despite the immense impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic recession (documented in GlobeScan’s findings on the pandemic’s impact on inequality for the BBC), people in 27 markets surveyed also continue to care deeply about the climate crisis that is currently unfolding in parallel. Concerns about climate change and poverty remain high and steady – with the perceived seriousness of climate change on the rise in large emitting countries like the USA, China, and India. These findings emphasize that in the minds of the global public, the climate change agenda remains as urgent as ever. 

In most of the 27 markets surveyed, proportions of around nine in ten or more say that climate change is a very or somewhat serious issue, with people in Mexico and Turkey expressing almost universal concern. In the least worried countries – Russia, the United States, Australia, and Sweden – as many as around eight in ten still say the issue is at least somewhat concerning. 

Climate Change: A GlobeScan Insight - Seriousness of Climate Change

Despite the current pandemic and economic crisis, concern about climate change has also remained remarkably steady in all markets surveyed in both 2019 and 2020; only China has recorded a significant shift, with an increase of five points in concern about the issue.

When looking back over the past six years, there has been a steady increase in concern about climate change at the global level with worries about the climate on the rise in large emitting countries like the USA, China (compared to 2015), and India. There have also been significant long-term increases in the sense of urgency in other countries, including Canada, France, Kenya, and Nigeria.

Climate Change: A GlobeScan Insight - Seriousness of Climate Change

On average across the 27 countries, concern about climate change is particularly strong among women and younger generations, as well as among those with higher levels of education. In the USA, Gen Z respondents are particularly concerned, as well as those living in urban areas.

Those who live in countries where people express more concern about climate change also tend to feel more personally impacted by climate change; people in Mexico and Turkey are the most worried and also feel the strongest personal impact. In contrast, those in countries like Sweden, Australia, Germany, and the United States say they have experienced significantly less personal impact of climate change and tend to express much lower levels of concern.

GlobeScan Radar is a global survey conducted online among samples of 1,000 adults in each of 27 countries, weighted to reflect general population census data. The research was conducted during June of 2020. ​​

Climate Change: A GlobeScan Insight - Personally Affected

Climate Change: A GlobeScan Insight - Perceived Seriousness

Climate Change: A GlobeScan Insight - report cover

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New Global Poll Documents the Pandemic’s Impact on Inequality

Six months on from The World Health Organization officially declaring COVID-19 a global pandemic, a new global poll conducted for the BBC World Service shows that the impact of the pandemic has had a more severe impact on people in poorer countries and has exacerbated existing inequalities both within and across countries. Gen Z have also disproportionately experienced financial hardship as a result of the pandemic.

The poll of 27 countries was conducted by GlobeScan in June 2020 during the height of the pandemic for many. In total, more than 27,000 people around the world were surveyed about COVID-19 and the impact it has had on their lives. Key findings include the following:

  • Nearly six in ten people (57%) say they have been affected financially by the impacts of the coronavirus, with those in non-OECD member countries much more likely to have had their income affected due to the pandemic (69%) compared to those living in OECD countries (45%).
  • Overall, people with lower incomes are most likely to have seen changes to their family income (60% versus 57% of average wage earners and 56% of high earners). Gen Z (63%) have also disproportionately experienced financial hardship as a result of the pandemic.
  • While there is little difference overall in terms of the reported physical impact of the pandemic by gender, women report higher levels of direct financial impact than men, with greatest disparities reported in Germany (32% of women vs 24% of men), Italy (50% vs 43%), and the UK (45% vs 38%).
  • Only a minority (5%) say that they themselves, or someone in their family, have been sick or diagnosed with the virus, but relatively few (39%) have been left unscathed by either direct physical or financial impact.
  • Parents also feel greater impacts from the pandemic (57% feel greatly affected personally versus 41% of people without children).
  • In the USA, people who identify as Black report twice the level of having been infected by the virus or having had a family member infected compared to those identifying as White (14% versus 7%, respectively).
  • Those who have felt the effects of the coronavirus pandemic more strongly are more likely to desire a restructured economy, such as Gen Zs (62%) and low-income earners (58%).

People in Latin America, Asia, and Africa are more likely to say they have experienced considerable impacts from the virus, particularly those in Indonesia (74%), Turkey (74%), Mexico (73%), and Kenya (71%). North American and European residents are the least likely to feel impacted by the coronavirus, even though the USA is experiencing the largest number of cases in the world. Around a third of UK (34%) and US (36%) respondents say they personally have been greatly affected by the pandemic.

When comparing 16 different global issues covering socio-economic, environmental, and political topics, it is unsurprising that people view the coronavirus pandemic as the most serious problem currently facing the world. Sixty-eight percent of people believe that the pandemic is “very serious,” followed closely by the spread of human diseases (62%) more generally. The pandemic is currently viewed as a more serious problem compared to issues like climate change (60%), extreme poverty (57%), waste from single-use plastic (55%), and unemployment (53%). It is notable, however, that climate change remains near the top of the global public’s agenda despite the pandemic having touched so many personal lives.

While the COVID-19 pandemic is the most influential issue on average, there are some notable differences among countries. Argentinians are more likely to feel affected by the recession than the pandemic, while people in Australia, Italy, Nigeria, Russia, South Africa, and Thailand feel almost equally affected by the pandemic and the recession.

It is undeniable that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected people’s lives in a myriad of ways. When focussing on health and economic impacts, the survey reveals that few (39%) have been left unscathed by either of these elements.

Findings suggest there is a link between a nation’s response to the coronavirus outbreak and the impact on its population. Those who report lower levels of impact from the pandemic tend to live in countries that responded quickly or robustly such as Australia, Canada, Germany, and Sweden. In general, OECD member countries are less likely than non-member countries to feel greater impacts from the pandemic (41% versus 57% respectively say they have been greatly affected personally). Of the 27 countries surveyed, those living in Germany are the least affected – only 13 percent feel their lives have been greatly affected by the pandemic, while a quarter (26%) say it has not affected them at all.

Not only have they seen greater overall impacts, but people in non-OECD member countries are also more likely to have had their income affected due to the pandemic (69%) compared to those living in OECD countries (45%). People in Kenya (91%), Thailand (81%), Nigeria (80%), South Africa (77%), Indonesia (76%), and Vietnam (74%) are the most likely to have been affected financially. Mexico (79%) is the OECD member country with the largest proportion of residents impacted financially. Those in North America and Europe are less likely to have experienced physical or financial fallout from the pandemic.

Reflecting the OECD average, 42 percent of people in the UK and 45 percent in the US have seen changes to their incomes during the pandemic. People in Germany (69%), France (68%), Sweden (63%), and Japan (62%) are the most likely to not have felt physical or financial impacts.

Along with overall wealth at the country level, income differences within countries also reveal people’s experience of the pandemic. There is a divide that shows those at either end of the scale, with high (51%) or low (52%) incomes for their country are more likely to say they personally have been greatly affected by the pandemic than those with average (47%) income levels. People with lower incomes are most likely to have seen changes to their family income (60% versus 57% of average wage earners and 56% of high earners).

Bucking the overall trend, however, people with high incomes in Australia, Canada, Japan, Russia, and the UK are more likely to have experienced financial impacts during the pandemic than those earning the least. Forty-seven percent of high-income earners in the UK have seen their family’s income change, compared to 38 percent on low incomes.

The poll shows that the pandemic has affected certain demographics more than others. In several countries, especially in Europe, women are more likely than men to say they have been greatly impacted by the pandemic. Women in France (42% greatly affected vs 36% of men), India (59% vs 50%), Indonesia (77% vs 70%), Italy (55% vs 42%), Russia (48% vs 41%), Spain (54% vs 49%), Sweden (36% vs 27%), Turkey (77% vs 72%), and the UK (36% vs 31%) are all more likely than men in their country to feel they have been personally affected to a great extent. 

With school closures, online learning, and childcare dilemmas, it is understandable that parents also feel greater impacts from the pandemic (57% feel greatly affected personally versus 41% of people without children). Perhaps reflecting changing work patterns to assist with childcare, 66 percent of parents have also found themselves enduring income changes. Those without children are less likely to be affected either physically or financially (49% say they did not encounter either of these problems).

The impact of the pandemic also appears to have been less prevalent with age. Despite higher mortality rates among the elderly, younger generations are more likely to feel the effects than older generations – perhaps due to stronger levels of disruption to education, employment, and social activities among the younger generations. Fifty-five percent of Gen Z respondents and 56 percent of Millennials feel that the pandemic has greatly affected their lives, in contrast to just under half of Gen Xs (49%) and nearly four in ten Baby Boomers and older (39%).

Financial hardship is more prevalent among Gen Z (63% saw a change to their income) and Millennials (65%) compared to those further along in their career paths (Gen X with 59%, and Baby Boomers and older at 42% who say their incomes were affected). Older generations are more likely to have escaped physical or financial harm – 56 percent of Baby Boomers and older report no physical or financial impacts, compared to 39 percent on average globally.

While there is little overall difference in terms of reported physical impact between women and men, in several countries women report higher levels of direct financial impact, including Australia (44% of women saw a change to their income vs 38% of men), Canada (44% vs 39%), Germany (32% vs 24%), Italy (50% vs 43%), Japan (38% vs 32%), Russia (64% vs 59%), Sweden (33% vs 28%), and the UK (45% vs 38%). In China and Vietnam, men instead tend to report higher levels of financial impact, with 59 percent of men in China reporting a change to their income vs 52 percent of women, and in Vietnam 81 percent of men vs 67 percent of women.

In the USA, people who identify as Black report twice the level of having been infected by the virus or having had a family member infected compared to those identifying as White (14% versus 7%, respectively). In terms of economic impact, Americans who identify as Hispanic (50%) or Asian (58%) are more likely than the US average (45%) to say they have felt a direct financial impact by having had their family’s income affected. Hispanic (50%) and Asian Americans (52%) are also more likely than the US average (36%) to feel that the pandemic has greatly affected their lives overall. White Americans are the least likely to say that they have been greatly affected (33%) while Black Americans are more likely to have been greatly affected (41%).

When asked about thoughts on the post-COVID economic recovery and what should be prioritised, over half of respondents (55%) feel that economic systems need to be restructured to withstand current and future challenges. European (61%), African (68%), and Latin American (72%) countries, on average, tend to agree that the post-COVID economic recovery should incorporate restructuring to deal better with other challenges such as climate change and inequality. However, people in Asian countries are more likely to favour an economy that returns to pre-COVID status as soon as possible (58%). North American views tend to be close to the global average when it comes to returning the economy to its previous state (47% versus 45%, respectively).

Those who have felt the effects of the coronavirus pandemic more strongly are more likely to desire a restructured economy, such as Gen Zs (62%) and low-income earners (58%). On the other hand, those who have been impacted less are more likely to favour an economic recovery that returns to its original state. Almost half of Gen Xs (48%), Baby Boomers and older (46%), and those with high incomes (48%) would like to see the priority placed on economies returning back to normal compared to just 38 percent of Gen Zs and 42 percent of low-income earners. However, those with children also tend to be more in favour of getting the economy back to normal (47%) than those with no children (43%). In the USA, those who identify as White tend to prefer a return to normal (55%), while Black (57%), Hispanic (52%), and Asian Americans (55%) are more likely to say that they would like to see a restructured economy.


Methodology

GlobeScan / BBC Pandemic Inequality 2020 - Participating Countries

Defining Generations:

  • Gen Z: people born from 1997 onwards (ages 18 to 23 in 2020 for the purposes of this study as only those aged 18+ were surveyed)
  • Millennials: people born between 1981 and 1996 (ages 24 to 39 in 2020)
  • Gen X: people born between 1965 and 1980 (ages 40 to 55 in 2020)
  • Baby Boomer and older: people born in 1964 or earlier (ages 56 and above in 2020)

Figure 1

Seriousness of Global Problems

Figure 2

Extent Personally Affected by...

Figure 3

Extent Personally Affected by COVID-19

Figure 4

Impact of COVID-19

Figure 5

Impact of COVID-19

Figure 6

Pandemic’s Amplification on InequalityPriority for COVID-19 Economic Recover

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About the BBC World Service

BBC World Service is an international multimedia broadcaster, delivering a wide range of language and regional services on radio, TV, online and via wireless handheld devices. It uses multiple platforms to reach its weekly audience of 192 million globally, including shortwave, AM, FM, digital satellite and cable channels. Its news sites include audio and video content and offer opportunities to join the global debate. BBC World Service offers its multilingual radio content to partner FM stations around the world and has numerous partnerships supplying content to news websites, mobile phones and other wireless handheld devices as well as TV channels. For more information, visit www.bbc.com/worldservice  


Questionnaire Wording

For each of the following possible global problems, please indicate if you see it as a very serious, somewhat serious, not very serious or not at all serious problem.

  1. The spread of human diseases
  2. Extreme poverty in the world
  3. The loss of animal and plant species
  4. The state of the global economy
  5. Mental health problems
  6. The gap between rich and poor
  7. Unequal treatment of women
  8. Shortages of fresh water
  9. Single-use plastic waste in the environment
  10. Climate change or global warming
  11. Air pollution in general
  12. The depletion of natural resources, such as forests, farmland and fish
  13. Online data security and privacy
  14. Unemployment
  15. Social and political division in my country
  16. The coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic

How much are you personally affected by each of the following problems?

  1. The economic recession
  2. Climate change or global warming
  3. The coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic

How would you describe how you may have been personally affected by the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic? Please select all that apply to you.

  1. I or family members have been sick or diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus
  2. My family’s income has been affected
  3. My life has not been affected in these ways

In building the post-COVID-19 economic recovery, do you think the priority should be on:

  1. Getting our economy back to normal as soon as possible
  2. Restructuring our economy so it deals better with other challenges like inequality and climate change as well

Headline photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Decent Work and Economic Growth: Perspectives from the SDG 8 Leadership Forum

SDG Leadership Forum Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthSDG Goal 8 Leadership Forum hosted by
3M / GlobeScan

Learn from the perspectives of more than 125 participants from 17 countries who explored the future of work, the ways in which it is changing, and the obstacles and solutions in closing the skills gap.

Read the full report from our online discussion of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, hosted with 3M.

What is Sustainable Development Goal 8?

SDG 8 aims to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

Discussion Summary

Together, we explored the future of work and what will be needed to support skills development for decent work and economic prosperity. In our globalized economy, technological advancement and competitiveness is empowering rapid evolution in work and production. The World Economic Forum urges business leaders and governments to take a proactive approach to developing the skills of their future workforces.

This report summarizes the discussions and identifies key challenges and priorities for action.

Key Learnings

  • Forum participants believe that decent work for all will be challenging to achieve if we do not address pressing social issues such as poverty, inequality, weak governance, youth unemployment, and human rights.
  • Economic growth needs to be inclusive and job-led in order for it to lead to decent work.
  • Rapid technological changes are driving structural shifts in the way we work.
  • Lifelong learning will be an imperative for workers to remain competitive and productive.
  • Addressing skills mismatches in labor markets will require a concerted effort and multi-stakeholder collaboration and dialogue.

“In our global economy, technological advancement is empowering rapid evolution in work and production. As a company rooted in scientific exploration and the belief that every problem has a solution, we apply scientific expertise to help solve some of the world’s biggest challenges. We are committed to advancing a global circular economy, innovating to decarbonize industry, and collaborating with others to create a more positive world.”
– Gayle Schueller, Chief Sustainability Officer, 3M

SDG 8 Forum Report

Read the full report to find out more about the discussion, the key challenges identified and possible solutions to close the skills gap.

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About the GlobeScan SDG Leadership Series

The GlobeScan SDG Leadership Series is a set of seventeen online discussions and each Forum will focus on one Global Goal, connecting experts and opinion leaders to share ideas and actions for making progress on the Sustainable Development Goals.

Read reports on past SDG Leadership Forums:

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