Decoding the Sustainability Dialogue from Davos 2024

January 2024, by Ettie Etela

Here at MM-Eye, we have been closely following the discussions at Davos 2024, especially the ongoing dialogue around climate change and sustainability. These themes are not new, but a crucial angle is often missed in these high-level discussions – the consumer perspective.

Our latest Say Do Sustainability Study, which we are excited to share later this year, dives deep into this aspect. We have found that while terms like ‘Polycrisis’ might dominate headlines, what really matters is how consumers perceive and react to these issues. It is about understanding the gap between what brands say and what they actually do, and how this impacts consumer sentiment.

Our recent research showed a widespread sense of climate anxiety prevalent among the UK public. This anxiety is deeply intertwined with economic concerns. The drive towards a more sustainable, greener lifestyle is often seen as a costly and impractical endeavour for many. Across the board, there’s a heightened awareness of the financial strain such lifestyle changes can impose on households. This creates a significant barrier, as the desire to adopt environmentally friendly practices is frequently overshadowed by economic limitations.

We also saw a noticeable disconnect between what consumers expect from businesses and what is actually being delivered. There is a growing concern about the future of our planet and the effectiveness of the measures currently in place to protect it. This sentiment resonates with a broader scepticism about the practicality of some proposed sustainable solutions. For instance, the production of electric car batteries, often touted as a greener alternative, comes under scrutiny for its own environmental impact. This contradiction points to a complex landscape where the ideal of sustainability is sometimes at odds with the reality of its implementation.

These findings reflect a deeper, more nuanced understanding of the public’s sustainability and climate change perspective. It is clear that while there is a strong desire to move towards more sustainable practices, there are also significant challenges and concerns that need to be addressed. The research offers valuable insights for brands, businesses and policymakers to help them better align their strategies with consumers’ real-world experiences and expectations.

At MM-Eye, we believe the key lies in understanding people. It’s not about crunching numbers; we also need to tap into the human element of the climate crisis. How do we communicate effectively? How do we help people navigate these challenges? These are the questions we are trying to answer.

The Say Do Sustainability Study is a guide to understanding consumer sentiment in the face of global sustainability challenges.

So, as we all look to make sense of the discussions at Davos 2024, we want to highlight the importance of bringing the consumer into the conversation. We are committed to bridging that gap at MM-Eye, ensuring that the voice of the consumer is not heard, understood and acted upon. If you want to find out more about SDSS or any of the other great research we do, please get in touch with the team.