Picture the scene – you’re a 27-year-old from Wales, living in Glasgow. You’ve just bought a house but still spend as much of your salary as possible on daily orders to ASOS.
That’s me – Hannah.
I’m fairly new to market research and I pretty much live in my own little bubble so taking an interest in what’s going on in the world never used to score that highly on my list. I spend my time watching Greys Anatomy and thinking I’m becoming a qualified doctor rather than watching the news, I’m one of the laziest people I know and will do anything to live the most convenient life that’s not going to cost me much money. This is usually at the cost of the planet.
As I said, I spend most of my money on fast fashion, I always drive to the local shop and I base every meal around a meat source. I do try and recycle and pride myself on being much better than my boyfriend who thinks the 3 bins we have are just to use when one gets full.
So when COP26 was announced to be held in Glasgow, I rolled my eyes: “why can’t they do it on TEAMS like the rest of us” was one of my first thoughts (straight after, “OMG I wonder if I’ll see Barack Obama”).
Then the opportunity to go to the Green Zone at COP 26 came up, I couldn’t think of anything worse. My boss asked me to go as she knew that I could really do with learning a thing or two about the world we live in and how that would feed into the work we do for our clients.
In classic Hannah fashion, I asked if it would be ok for me to get a taxi there and back (I know, I know – to an environmental summit!). Obviously, this was a no, so I sucked it up and got the train.
For the first hour or two I had no idea what relevance being there had on my work. I visited the exhibits, read up on new innovations and thought “ah good for them”. I was always of the impression that for big change among us “common folk” the likes of big organisations, councils and the government would need to get the ball rolling on that change. After all, I can’t change the world just by recycling, can I?
So, with my blinkers on, I checked out the COP Cinema to see what talks they had on for the rest of the afternoon. I thought I’d sit in on “Talking about Our Generation” and not just because I’m a fan of The Who but because it was taking a closer look at putting younger generations in charge of the switch to sustainable energy, particularly in transportation.
No exaggeration, within 2 minutes I was hooked! They showed a film by Fully Charged Show which looked at the younger generation asking the experts their most pressing questions around sustainability. From the future of transport in cities, why there aren’t many electric options for planes, buses and trains and how can we ensure that less economically developed communities are not being left behind.
This was followed by a panel which was made up of two young adults that featured in the film, the fleet manager from the national grid and Robert Llewelyn, the creator of Fully Charged Show.
Some of the questions that were being posed were things I’d never even thought of and terms such as “clean energy” were being thrown around like it was common knowledge. Cue me having a word with myself that I’d let myself get so disconnected from one of the world’s most pressing issues.
Once I’d tuned back in, I started thinking about the behavioural science model I’ve recently learned, the COM-B wheel.
For anyone like me who doesn’t know what this is, the COM-B wheel shows the three elements that need to happen to promote behaviour change.
As the panel were talking and posing different questions to each other I was thinking about how we could use the COM-B behaviour change wheel to help our clients understand what they need to do to ensure they continue to align with expectations of their consumers. Kantar’s latest survey reported that 71% of UK adults believe that companies should act ethically; and no doubt consumers will put their money where they believe this is happening.
So, what have I done since I hear you ask? Well, the first thing I did was reassure myself that whatever I do, is a good start. I’m not going to change the world by myself, no one is, but whatever I am doing will help to contribute. We need to share the responsibility and cross the line together.
So that’s me – newly formed eco Hannah. What are your consumers doing? Maybe they’re just as clueless as me and need us to help change their behaviour! Drop us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org