The warning for the future

 ‘Code red for humanity’; the four simple words which have circled media headlines in the past few weeks and undoubtedly left many of us worried about the future. The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report offered a stark warning for humanity and the world we live in of the consequences if climate change continues to debilitate as it has in the past decade.[1] So what is propelling us into an unprecedented and potentially irreversible environmental catastrophe?


The IPCC reported that ‘human influence is very likely the main driver’ of the rising sea levels and therefore the extreme impact on the global climate.[2] As ‘Manufacturers’ and ‘Consumers’ in a mass produced-environmentally-damaging-world, corporate responsibility will continue to come under scrutiny and it is more important than ever for brands to ‘go green’.

The consumers of tomorrow

In the last week, we spoke to adults in the UK about their thoughts and feelings about climate change and how this impacted their behaviours. The results showed that 90% of adults, of whom the majority are parents, are concerned about the environment, with over half feeling ‘very’ concerned.[3] For the public, the biggest factors which harmed the environment were transportation and vehicles (56%), the use of plastic in products (49%) and people not recycling (37%).[4] Consumerism in particular has been a hot topic in the climate change debate, with Greta Thunberg condemning the ‘fast fashion’ industry in a recent interview with Vogue, which ranked as the fifth biggest climate change contributor in our recent public poll.[5] We also see this reflected in people’s behaviours. Close to half of consumers said that ‘brand sustainability’ has some impact on their purchase decisions with a third stating they avoid buying products with lots of plastic and 28% ‘feeling responsible for looking after the environment’.[6] A lot of today’s consumers, and future consumers, want the businesses they support to be green, however there is no denying there is still some way to go in engaging everybody in this vision.

The opportunity for brands

In recent weeks, Mattel has pledged to becoming a ‘better global citizen’ with a large part of that being a commitment to getting greener.[7] It is reported that 90% of all toys produced are made of, or contain, plastic.[8] As part of its environmental initiatives, Mattel created a campaign for Barbie dolls made of recycled plastics with the slogan ‘The future of pink is green’. The decision for the toy giant to actively be more sustainable comes down to corporate responsibility with the CEO declaring ‘it really comes down to trust, our relationship with consumers, customers, business partners and communities built on the belief we will do the right thing’, not just consumer demand.[9] Other brands have also taken the initiative to go green, such as Lego, Hasbro, Puma, Ikea, Nike and Apple who have launched sustainability programmes and green initiatives in the past 2 years.

This is not a fleeting trend or something that will be solved over night with a few short term solutions, but a wake up call for brands to recognize that a sustainable strategy could give them a competitive advantage in the market whilst playing their part in contributing to a greener future. 



[3] Giraffe Insights, Overnight Poll

[4] Giraffe Insights, Overnight Poll


[6] Giraffe Insights, Overnight Poll




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