In their analysis of Global Warming Impacts, the Union of Concerned Scientists argued that the consequences of climate change are already here and are reflected in our changing weather patterns and in our physical well being (UCSUSA,2018). Global climate change has climbed in the ranking of issues that concern societies around the world. As a consequence, we can see a shift in public trends that demonstrate that climate change is a pressing concern, and it has warranted its own activist movement (Corkum, 2018).
The Pew Research Center carried out a survey showing the different degrees of concern over climate change in different countries (Pew Research, 2015). It is observed that this concern varies depending on the country (Stokes, Wike & Carle, 2015). For example, China and Poland show very low concern in comparison to Latin American countries such as Brazil or Chile (Pew Research, 2015). However, even if environmentalism is becoming a “trendy activist movement” in some countries, there are others that have shown decreased concern (Stokes, Wike y Carle, 2015).
Significantly, this evolution in social trends and concerns about global warming and climate change has an important effect on the economy of a country. Consumers are becoming more demanding (Deloitte, 2017). In countries such as the United States, consumers are starting to ask for bio-products that do not harm the environment and that are organic (Associated Press, 2015). The range of products offering sustainable options range from cosmetics to food and textiles. Shoppers have a greater awareness not only in terms of health and wellness but also in terms of affecting the planet in a negative way with their purchases (Pilon, 2017). The supply and the demand are the variables that affect the markets, and what is increasingly driving demand is quality and healthiness (Askew, 2017).
Public opinion has provoked a shift in consumer trends which, at the same time, has pushed companies to go green. This in turn means that big companies have had to develop a corporate social responsibility based on sustainability. Consumers are concerned not only with what to buy but also with the company that is selling the good. Shoppers are starting to buy from companies that share sustainability reports (Pilon, 2017). On the other hand, consumers are banning those companies who do not share sustainable standards. This means that consumers are using the power of the “supply and demand chain”, pushing companies to change their ethical concerns and behaviour. However, even if consumers have gained a lot of power in terms of pushing companies to act greener, there are some small companies that do not have the economic power to change their processes of producing goods. Moreover, there are some companies that prefer to maintain their usual way of producing and manufacturing goods. This is why governments should create policies that bind companies with the ultimate goal of a sustainable world.
Jimena González is currently a student at LSE. Her day to day life is based on challenging herself, writing essays and discovering what the city of London has to offer.
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