Instead of turning the community off with extreme protests, climate activists should focus on harnessing the strong community preferences for sustainable corporate behaviour that already exist.
In one of several recent data points giving evidence to this, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA’s (CCIWA) most recent Consumer Sentiment Survey found several environmental, social and governance (ESG) topics to be highly influential in shaping brand preferences.
Not surprisingly, the most influential group of topics were in the environmental space, with 73 per cent of respondents saying the use of recyclable products and packaging was important or very important, followed by using sustainably sourced materials (70 per cent) and setting targets and restrictions to reduce climate change (63 per cent).
Interestingly, 75 per cent of those interviewed said it was important or very important that companies were transparent, which means the growing focus of ASIC and the ACCC on greenwashing is spot on.
The battle to convince the community of the importance of sustainable corporate behaviour is largely won. With extreme weather events, as well as their economic, social and environmental impacts, set to increase year on year, community sentiment will only harden.
What both people and our planet need now, is mature leadership that shows us the constructive ways we can drive ongoing improvements in corporate behavior. Rather than stunts that create victims and do more harm than good.
This article also appeared in The West Australian newspaper.