By Anders Lorenzen
Data compiled by Reconomy, a waste management company, has shown that the interest in sustainability among the UK public is at an all-time high.
The data set studied Google Trends and revealed that ‘sustainability’ reached a score of 100 in April 2022. Google Trends is publicly available data looking at what keywords people are searching for on Google search engines. When a keyword receives a value of 100, it indicates peak popularity. In 2022 the number of people who searched for the word sustainability reached its highest level in five years in the UK.
The data could indicate that UK citizens are becoming increasingly aware of the urgent need to protect nature and the environment and to act on climate change. But it is also quite likely to be a result of more companies introducing sustainability policies or strengthening those already in place. One out of three UK’s largest companies has set sustainability goals, with the objective of reducing CO2 emissions.
Driving the trends
In recent years awareness of a variety of sustainability problems has increased in the UK due to a number of factors such as increased media focus, and more government policies.
75% of UK consumers say that reducing plastic is important for them. The largest rise in sustainability awareness is amongst the Gen Z age group. Data shows that Gen Z prefers to purchase items from sustainable brands, and are willing to pay more for ethically produced items. And when it comes to feeling the burden of climate change, Gen Z and millennials rank highest at 63%. This can be compared to 37% of Gen x and 28% of baby boomers.
And 32% of the Gen Z group has taken part in at least one significant environmental action over the course of the past year. The group is also taking an active role in terms of expecting sustainability commitments from the companies they work for with 64% saying it is important to them.