DEFRA has released a weighty report breaking down the attitudes and behaviours of the UK public and proposing a framework of how to ‘green’ those attitudes and behaviours.
They propose 7 population segments (with my slightly less subtle interpretations of what they mean):
1. Positive Greens – 18 % of the population – will do as much as they can.
2. Waste Watchers – 12% – naturally dislike waste but not environmentally motivated.
3. Concerned Consumers 14% – would like to do more, but struggle with lifestyle choices.
4. Sideline supporters – 14% – concerned, but not acting.
5. Cautious Participants – 14% – will follow the crowd.
6. Stalled Starters – 10% – don’t know much about the environment.
7. Honestly Disengaged – 18% – Jeremy Clarkson.
The report also sets 12 headline goals running from “install insulation” through to “eat food locally in season”. It then plots which of these goals each segment is most likely to be persuaded to achieve and by what method. Interesting stuff, particularly those trying to change behaviour, although I’m sure there will be some debate over the segmentation.
Back in July I mentioned a GreenBiz report on US consumer attitudes. They found that 29% didn’t care about the environment. If you count segments 6 and 7 above as not caring (deliberately or through ignorance) then you get 28%. Obviously this is an unscientific comparison – but surprisingly similar given the British perception of our cousins across the pond as uncaring when it comes to the planet.
Given this and the general blame thrown at China, maybe someone should do a study on green xenophobia…