90% of Gen Zers think brands have responsibility on climate change

Josh Hall's picture
by Josh Hall

Some 90 per cent of 18 to 20-year-olds believe that brands have some responsibility to take action on climate change.

This is according to new research from Havas, which explores trends amongst the two million young people who have become eligible to vote since the 2016 EU referendum.

The 'Coming Of Age' study found that Brexit is not the defining issue for this age group. When asked to choose three topics that were of most concern to them, less than a third included Brexit in their choices.

Mental health was the biggest concern, cited by 58 per cent of respondents, followed by climate change, knife crime, and the NHS.

Of those who said brands have a role to play in fighting climate change, 29 per cent said they had the biggest responsibility - second only to the government, at 37 per cent.

But mental health is the biggest concern for this generation, with 88 per cent saying that social media is dangerous for vulnerable people and 73 per cent that the need for 'likes' is damaging.

Only half of respondents said their online persona reflects their real self, while 35 per cent said they have multiple profiles on the same platforms.

But Gen Z is an increasingly digital cohort, with 50 per cent saying a conversation doesn't need to take place offline in order for it to be meaningful.

Commenting on the study Eva Grimmett, Chief Strategy Officer at Havas Media Group, said: “This group of young people missed out on the opportunity to vote in the EU referendum, but they are coming into adulthood with their futures very much defined by what happened back in 2016. That’s why we felt it was so important to understand more about how this specific section of Gen Zs feel about themselves and the world around them.

“The study clearly demonstrates that these people have high expectations of brands and the role they should play in tackling major issues like climate change, and smart advertisers should realise that their long-term health relies on contributing something of value beyond their core product or service, particularly from an ecological perspective.”

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