Consumers and business executives have cited the environment as the most pressing socio-political issue of the future. That is the finding of a McKinsey Quarterly study titled Addressing consumer concerns about climate change.
The report shows that 55% of consumers and 51% of executives view the environment as one of three issues likely to attract public action in the next five years. McKinsey, which carried out a global survey over two years, put the high concern down to intense publicity surrounding climate change.
Businesses have responded to its concerns by:
- Use of energy efficient appliances.
- Driving fuel efficient cars.
The least popular responses by business leaders were:
- Purchase of carbon credit and offsets.
- Reduce beef consumption.
- Lower aeroplane travel.
The authors believe business leaders wrongly view complex socio-political issues as risks rather than opportunities.
“Corporations have ample opportunity to differentiate themselves from their competitors by acting on environmental and other social issues and to build trust among consumers by publicising these activities successfully,” states the report.
Aside from the environment, consumers surveyed were concerned about:
- Pension and retirement benefits.
- Demand for healthier and safer products.
- Health care and other employee benefits.
Executives were worried about:
- Privacy and data security.
- Job losses from moving jobs overseas.