The Changing Views on Climate Change

The Changing Views on Climate Change

Major retailers and CPG brands are becoming more focused on their environmental impact. That’s because not doing so could be bad for business.

A 2020 Capgemini survey of 750 senior executives in Consumer Products and Retail (CPR) organizations found that 77% think that sustainable initiatives drive customer loyalty while 63% say that such initiatives boost revenue. 

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In that same report, a survey of 7,500 consumers around the world found that 79% are changing their purchasing habits based on perceived social or environmental impact.

What’s Driving This Shift

One reason why shoppers, retailers, and CPG brands have been focused on becoming more eco-friendly is because people are becoming more aware of climate change and how their individual decisions impact the environment.

Understanding community perception of climate change is imperative for future success in just about any industry. 

For example:

  • Is the local population concerned and ready to take action, or should educational programs be implemented first? 
  • Are people actively in danger of natural disasters caused by climate change and in need of assistance, or are they yet to be impacted by the repercussions of a warming planet? 
  • How can my brand help contribute to prevention and/or relief efforts in order to better local communities while simultaneously driving revenue?

Using the Premise Global Index, we can track global sentiment about climate change and other environmental issues in real-time, observing long-term trends and sudden shifts in opinion. Utilizing tools such as our retail audits, mystery shopping, and site mapping, our contributor network can tell you how your environmental initiatives stack up against the competition and identify areas of improvement, providing geotargeted site photos to augment traditional survey data.

Gauging Concerns

Looking at an issue as complex as climate change, it’s not surprising that its impacts in specific regions would differ and people’s perceptions of those impacts would vary accordingly. However, on a country-by-country basis, we find that many of our contributors are concerned about similar things. 

Across all countries studied, people were most concerned about the effects of climate change on floods and severe rain, droughts, and seasonal timings

A staggering 89% of residents of the 70 countries with statistically significant sample sizes had floods and severe rain as their biggest worry. These spanned coastal countries and inland areas alike, including several countries which aren’t known for dealing with these issues on a yearly basis. 

Identifying, understanding, and monitoring these areas of concern enables organizations to better plan for environmental impacts while better targeting their brand messaging in those markets. 

Protecting the Future

The Premise Global Index shows older generations agree more strongly with the idea that it is important to protect the environment for future generations. However as age declines we see a corresponding decrease in the importance of this cause. 

Premise data shows that slightly fewer younger people agreed that climate change was a threat to the world than their older counterparts. 77% of adults over 45 agree that climate change is a threat to the world compared to 68% of those under 25. 

As Premise collected survey data on consumer habits within our Global Index, our next step is to inquire about environmentally friendly purchases and the role of sustainability in the consumer experience. Given our adaptable platform, the ability to investigate deeper lines of questioning such as this provides immense benefits for businesses, CPG brands, and government entities alike. 

Sharing Responsibility

At the end of the day, who should be responsible for fighting climate change? Should it be the wealthiest countries? Should responsibility be shared equally across all countries? Or is it up to each country individually to address their own concerns? 

Interestingly, perception of who should bear this burden varies across income levels. 

  • 17% of low income individuals feel it is up to the wealthiest countries, while twelve percent of medium and high income users feel this way. 
  • However, a majority of all income levels — 54% of low income, 58% of medium income, and 60% of high income users — still feel that the responsibility should be shared evenly among all countries.

Policy makers and relief agencies alike will benefit from understanding just what makes these populations concerned about having to migrate. Is this due to poor air quality, rising sea levels, or natural disasters like hurricanes? Have these groups had particular experiences that led to these concerns in the first place? 

Using the Global Index as a starting point, businesses and government agencies can push more targeted and detailed surveys to get a greater understanding of the story behind these statistics. 

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