Ahead of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) next Sunday, Getty Images, a world leader in visual communication, in conjunction with global market research firm MarketCast, has unveiled new research which reveals 1 in 3 people in New Zealand and Australia believe the government, followed by businesses, has the largest responsibility when it comes to climate change action.
Alongside Getty Images’ creative insights platform Visual GPS, these findings confirm that one of the main barriers for people practicing sustainability in their everyday lives is the lack of guidance from government and businesses, with 1 in 3 respondents stating they need more information on how to live sustainably. While 88% of people said they would practice living a sustainable lifestyle if it cost them the same or less than what they’re paying today.
The study also found that there is a growing social movement in ANZ that pushes sustainable living through individual actions, with the most common practice being recycling (78%), followed by reusing, repairing or purchasing second-hand instead of buying new (51%), using environmentally friendly products (45%), stopping the use of single-use products (49%) and making their homes more energy-efficient (44%). ANZ consumers are even wielding their spending power to send a message, with 58% of people saying they only buy products from brands that make an effort to be eco-friendly.
“With New Zealand ranking second last among developed nations on climate performance and pledges ahead of COP26, there has never been a more important time for the government and businesses to step up and show their commitment to sustainability,” says Kate Rourke, Head of Creative Insights, Asia Pacific at Getty Images and iStock.
“Our research shows that individuals are ready and eager to do their part, and are using their purchasing power to vote for the future they want to see. Now it’s time for businesses to do their part,”
One simple, effective step businesses can take is being more discerning in their visual selections for their marketing and advertising, from local social media campaigns, to national TV adverts.
“Visuals have become more curated and relatable in recent years. Renewable energy, zero waste items, and sustainable farming practices are all popular visual cues which have often been used to illustrate sustainable living,” continues Rourke.
Customer searches on gettyimages.com show that businesses are expanding how they illustrate issues of climate action and sustainability, with the following searches up year over year: ‘Sustainable business’ +229%, ‘Circular economy’ +376%, ‘Cycle’ +68%, ‘Electric bus’ +2,100%, ‘Veggie garden’ +575%, ‘Care’ +46%, and ‘Protect’ +261%.
“What’s clear from our research is that visual communications that make sustainability personal and provide clear actions the average person can follow to live more sustainably on a day-to-day basis are key to encouraging real changes in consumer behaviour.”