Meet the Climate Catalyst.
This Earth Day, we want to lift up the customers insisting that businesses take responsible action when it comes to our planet. And we want to help brands meet them where they are.
Oliver Wyman Forum recently launched Renaissance 2022, a robust research report on “The New People Shaping Our Future” — eight critical personas, accounting for over half of the population, at the forefront of disruptive societal and organizational trends.
The Climate Catalysts are one of these eight personas: influential consumers who are doing their part to fight climate change and demanding the same from brands. They’re 13% of the population—worried citizens who have taken important personal actions (recycling, purchasing carbon offsets, writing to elected officials), but are becoming increasingly aware of the limits of individual behavior change. As one Catalyst articulated, “I’ve been doing my part by recycling, riding my bike, everything I can do on my own. It’s time for companies to step up.”
So, what else do we know about them?
- They insist on a more systemic approach to climate change.
- They expect brands to go beyond conveying their values to “walking the walk”
- They’re happy to maintain individual efforts to avert a climate catastrophe, but want businesses to reinvent themselves into greener operating models.
And they’re willing to speak with their wallets. 74% say they are less likely to buy from companies that do not value climate change, and 48% plan to boycott companies that are unable to take effective action on climate change. But 84% say they would pay a premium for sustainable offerings.
The cause is only getting more urgent. “Climate change used to be this vague, existential threat,” one catalyst told researchers. “Now I feel it on a personal level.” In fact, according to the Nature Climate Change journal, the effects of climate change have become ever more palpable, affecting 85% of the global population. “I won’t give my support or my money to anyone who doesn’t think this is the critical issue of our time.”
How can brands connect with the Climate Catalyst?
- Help them do more. 69% of the Climate Catalysts feel business are not providing the products and services needed for individuals to do their part. These are customers willing to prioritize sustainability in all of their purchase decisions, so make it easy for them to make green choices and reduce their personal environmental impact.
- Show your leadership. 60% of climate catalysts are disappointed with the lack of progress made by world leaders in the past five years. Show them what you’ve done, and commit yourself to doing even more. Catalysts expect not only ambitious climate goals, but tangible progress in alignment with those goals. Define the right metrics to track progress against your ambitious goals, and turn transparency into an advantage.
- Use your influence. Since catalysts are thinking holistically, they also expect companies to use their power to enroll other business leaders and even policy makers to make progress toward a greener future. What can you do to not just change your company, but to think systemically about the changes needed to make progress on an inherently global concern.
- Do some “soul” searching. This is an opportunity to not just win a passionate customer persona, but to apply a transformation mindset and make a real difference for society. Take time to define what impact you most want your organization to have and what you can do to contribute in the most authentic and valuable ways—we at Lippincott call this “Rethinking a Company’s Soul.” Each business will have its starting points and its urgencies, but done well, transformation becomes an opportunity.
At its core, connecting with the Climate Catalyst means greater involvement in and commitment to a sustainable future—a cause we can all get behind.
Thank you to the Catalysts for pushing us forward, and from us at Lippincott, Happy Earth Day.