A new insight released by Deloitte highlights APAC eco-consciousness is growing and the consumers are ready and prepared to pay more (if needed) for sustainable products and system-level solutions in the Asia Pacific region to help repair climate damage and respond to the current climate crisis.
In Deloitte’s latest article “Emerging eco-consciousness in Asia-Pacific summons a future of sustainable growth”, survey data using Deloitte's proprietary Global Sustainability Actions Index analyses factors that drive active engagement in sustainability across their consumer consumption choices, political and civic engagement and attitudes towards work. These indicators provide insights into the current state of eco-consciousness amongst the Asia Pacific population and identifies opportunities for accelerated progress.
Climate change is exacting a heavy cost on APAC and Deloitte’s survey data suggests people in the region are aware of those impacts and ready to further take action. Based on the data, one-third of APAC respondents have experienced extreme heat within the past year. That data also indicates that severe flooding has affected 130 in 1,000 people, while severe drought has affected 160 in 1,000 in the last six months.
As the Asia-Pacific region continues to witness a series of climate-related disasters, underscoring the urgency of addressing environmental challenges, Deloitte’s analysis conducted by the Deloitte Economics Institute, indicates the compounding effects of these worsening environmental events could create a drag on the region’s productivity, public spending and economic growth, amounting to as much as US$96 trillion in lost GDP by 2070.
“Businesses and governments play a crucial role in establishing the necessary norms, incentives, and penalties to facilitate this transformation. It is in the best interest of businesses to seize the momentum towards sustainability and provide people with products and services that align with their eco-conscious values. Achieving this change requires a collaborative effort involving companies, civil society, governments, and policymakers, approaching solutions from a holistic systems perspective,” said Nicola Weir, Deloitte Asia Pacific's Internal Climate and Sustainability Leader.
Governments in the Asia-Pacific region have taken the lead in recognising climate change as an existential threat and have initiated time-bound, national-level legislation to achieve net-zero targets. Retailers and leaders in the consumer market are also establishing new benchmarks for transparency and sustainability across their value chains; suppliers are being encouraged to disclose carbon emissions, material choices, and internal ESG practices, which are integrated into sustainability reports, product labelling and brand communications.
Consumers across APAC are showing higher levels of motivation, willingness, and eco-consciousness which can be harnessed by governments and the private sector to provide people with goods and services that enable them to put their eco values into practice.
People across the region seem ready to make sustainable choices; among the surveyed respondents from APAC, 52% have changed their purchasing behaviours to respond to climate concerns and 49% express support for new regulations aimed at climate protection.
In concert with growing public support for action, normalising affordable green products, competitively priced low-emission sources of energy, convenient ways to recycle waste, and low-carbon transportation options will reduce structural barriers to enable greener choices. While individuals in the region exhibit strong support for sustainability practices in their personal lives, the region lags global averages when it comes to being the drivers of large-scale solutions in the region through financial markets and reducing structural barriers to enable greener choices.
The private sector in Asia-Pacific has the opportunity to be market-leading by:
Governments in Asia-Pacific have the opportunity to do more by:
Recognising the pressing need to transition to a lower carbon economy, both policymakers and businesses widely acknowledge it as a strategic challenge. However, by taking these actions, the potential benefits could be transformative, with Deloitte economists estimating a net economic growth of US$47 trillion by 2070.