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Sustainability facts and stats

How much do Australians really care about the environment?

Wind turbines on grassy hills

How concerned are Australians about their personal carbon footprint?

As part of our Consumer Sentiment Tracker, we've been tracking Australians attitudes towards sustainability and the environment since May 2019. Our findings found that the majority of Australians (65%) are concerned about their personal carbon footprint.

 

Differences by state

We have found some interesting differences in attitudes between the states. The highest concern about their personal carbon footprint comes from people from the Northern Territory while Queenslanders and South Australians are most likely to be "not at all concerned".

Not concernedConcerned
SA37%63%
QLD37%63%
NSW35%65%
VIC34%66%
ACT33%67%
TAS33%67%
WA32%68%
NT28%72%

Differences by generation

This is where we see some stark differences. Our survey shows that the younger you are, the more you care about environmental issues, which is maybe not surprising. But the actual numbers are staggering. According to the survey, 76% of those in generation Z are concerned compared to just 63% of those in generation X and only 55% of baby boomers.

Here is a breakdown of each generation's level of concern for their environmental impact.

Generation ZGeneration YGeneration XBaby boomers
Not at all concerned24%29%37%45%
Somewhat concerned57%54%49%42%
Extremely concerned29%17%14%13%


Differences by gender

There's a bit of a gender gap when it comes to concern for the environment, with women much more worried. Less than a third of women (27%) said they were not concerned at all about the environment compared to 43% of men who weren't losing sleep over Mother Nature.

Not at all concernedSomewhat concernedExtremely concerned
Women27%57%16%
Men43%43%15%

How important is a company's social/environmental impact when deciding what to purchase?

We also asked Australians whether their attitudes towards the environment translate into their day-to-day purchases. We found that the vast majority of Australians (74%) think this is an important consideration and nearly 4 in 10 Australians (38%) think it is "extremely important" or "very important".

How important are a company's social/environmental efforts when deciding what to purchase?

    • Extremely important - 12%
    • Very important - 26%
    • Moderately important - 36%
    • Slightly important - 14%
    • Not at all important - 12%

Similar to their concern about their carbon footprint, the older Aussies get, the less they care about the efforts by companies to reduce their impact on the environment.

Extremely importantVery importantExtremely & Very important - Combined Total
Baby boomers7%17%24%
Generation X10%23%33%
Generation Y16%32%48%
Generation Z20%33%54%

Take action today on the Finder Green hub

Doing right by the world is easier and cheaper than you think. The Finder Green hub is for all things sustainable and is loaded with ideas for easy changes that you can make today. We know that small action by lots of people creates a big collective impact, so we can't wait to see what we can achieve together.

For some people, this means parking the car and walking, biking or catching public transport. For others, it could mean reducing the amount of plastic they use. Then there are the people who go all-in with their lifestyle changes, like adopting a vegan diet and building a carbon-zero or carbon-positive home. There isn't a one-size-fits-all approach to conscious living, it's more about making the changes that you can to help create a greener world.

Methodology

We analysed data from a survey of 8,107 Australian adults commissioned by Finder from May to December 2019.

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