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Sustainable Lifestyle Receptivity Survey 2021
“Own Interests and Benefits” stressed in Japan, the US, and Europe; “Public Welfare” emphasized in ASEAN Region and China

Dentsu Inc. (Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo; President & CEO: Hiroshi Igarashi; hereinafter, “Dentsu” or the “Company”) announced today that the Global Business Center—its enterprise specializing in promotion of overseas business—and the Dentsu Institute jointly ran the Sustainable Lifestyle Receptivity Survey 2021. The poll was conducted in July 2021 in 12 countries (Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam).

The survey was conducted to compare both the differences in receptivity to sustainability-related efforts (such as the reduction of CO2 emissions and the elimination of plastic waste), as well as changes since the 2010 survey.*1 The main findings are as follows.

The Survey Results: Key Findings

1. Japan Compared with 12 Nations Polled

(1) Social Issues of Interest
Only Japan ranks high on “Falling birthrate and aging population.”
Ranking in Japan: 1. Natural disasters (57.2%); 2. Falling birthrate and aging population (45.6%); 3. Air pollution (41.6%)
(2) Recycling Behavior
“Using Eco bags” (78.8%) and “Buying refillable products” (67.8%) ranked higher in Japan than average.
(3) Support for Social Activities
Respondents deeply engaged in “Social activities such as the collection of signatures and donations” ranked lowest (28.0%) in the 12 countries polled.
(4) Triggers for Interest in Social Issues
In Japan, “News and [print/internet] articles” (56.0%); in ASEAN, “Social media posts” ranked high.
(5) Sustainability Image
In Japan, the United States, and Europe, “Global environment” (51.8%) and “Recycling society/circular economy” (29.2%) ranked high.
(6) The Year 2030 Image
Only in Japan did “Anxiety” (34.6%) rank high.
(7) Economic Awareness
“I have my hands full keeping my current livelihood” (61.2%) ranked top in the 12 countries surveyed.

2. Changes in Japan between the 2010 and 2021 Surveys

(1) Sustainability Image
Top-ranked “Global environment” was unchanged. Items in second place and lower changed from vague images to concrete facts.
(2) The Year 2030 Image
Top-ranked “Anxiety” and “Digital” were unchanged. “Biotechnology/genomics” and “Diversity” ranked high.
(3) Consumption Awareness
In Japan, consumption is for “Own interests and benefits” (61.6%), rather than for “Public welfare.”

The Survey Results: Summary

In Japan, the image of sustainability is more concrete now than it was 10 years ago, with reusable bags and refillable products having become commonplace. However, despite a certain degree of environmental awareness when shopping, only some people are willing to accept the burden of environment-related costs and support related social activities. Thus, it cannot be said that the average Japanese is fully aware of the ramifications of utilization and disposal. Further, more people have their hands full keeping their livelihood than worrying about the welfare of the next generation. This is a trend seen in other economically advanced countries.*2 Differing from Japan are the ASEAN members Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. The survey results show a high percentage of the people in these nations support social activities, are willing to prioritize consumption-related public welfare, and engage in recycling. Further, interest in social issues is triggered by “Social media postings.” This indicates a difference in terms of media contact, compared with the predominance of news in economically advanced countries. Since the ASEAN region has a youthful population, the explosion of social media use has the potential to widely disseminate environmental sustainability awareness.

1. Japan Compared with 12 Nations Polled

(1) Social Issues of Interest
Only Japan ranks high for “Falling birthrate and aging population.” Ranking in Japan: 1. Natural disasters (57.2%); 2. Falling birthrate and aging population (45.6%); 3. Air pollution (41.6%)

(2) Recycling Behavior
“Using Eco bags” (78.8%), “Buying refillable products” (67.8%), ranked higher than average.

(3) Support for Social Activities.
Respondents deeply engaged in “Social activities such as the collection of signatures and donations” ranked lowest across the 12 countries at 28.0%.

(4) Triggers for Interest in Social Issues
In Japan “News and [print/internet] articles” (56.0%) and in ASEAN “Social media posts” ranked high.

(5) Sustainability Image
As in the United States and Europe, “Global environment” (51.8%) and “Recycling society/circular economy” (29.2%) ranked high.

(6) The Year 2030 Image
Only in Japan did “Anxiety” (34.6%) rank high.

(7) Economic Awareness
“I have my hands full keeping my current livelihood” (61.2%) ranked highest across the 12 countries.

2. Changes in Japan between the 2010 and 2021 Surveys

(1) Sustainability Image
“Global environment” remains in top place, while items ranked in second place and lower have changed from vague images to concrete facts.

(2) The Year 2030 Image
“Anxiety” and “Digital” remain in top place; “Biotechnology/genomics” and “Diversity” rank high.

(3) Consumption Awareness
In Japan, consumption is for one’s “Own interests and benefits” (61.6%) rather than for “Public welfare.”

Survey Overview
Title:  Sustainable Lifestyle Receptivity Survey 2021
Survey method:  Internet questionnaire
Conducted by:  Dentsu Inc. and Dentsu Institute 
Survey period:  July 8–20, 2021
Countries targeted: 12 countries (Japan, Germany, United Kingdom, United States, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam)
Sample size: 4,800 respondents
Target conditions:  500 men and women aged 18–69;
Japan, Germany, United Kingdom, United States, China, and India
300 men and women aged 18–44;
Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam

*1 Sustainable Lifestyle Receptivity Survey 2010, conducted March–November 2010
Dentsu Conducts Sustainable Lifestyle Receptivity Survey in 14 Countries, Finds “Sustainablists”—People Inclined to Sustainable Lifestyles—Emerging in Growing Markets
*2 The definition of “economically advanced countries” in this survey is based on the “economically advanced countries” announced by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2017, and corresponds to Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Singapore.
*3 In the question asking respondents to select the answer that best suits their level of participation in social activities, there were six options from which to choose: I am a leader planning social activities such as events and drives for donations, or for the collection of signatures; I am a member participating in social activities such as events and drives for donations, or for the collection of signatures; I am a supporter spreading information on social activities to those around me; I proactively seek information on social activities; I am not interested in information on social activities; I am opposed to such social activities. The comment “Social activities here indicate any activity that mobilizes people to address climate change or social inequalities” was also included in the question.
*4 Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States were not included in the 2010 survey. Regarding the other countries included in the survey, although sample size differed by survey year, the gender and age ratio can be compared in the 2010 and 2021 surveys.

Contact
Nakagawa, Magome, and Yamazaki, Dentsu Institue
E-mail:d-ii@dentsu.co.jp
URL:https://institute.dentsu.com

Photograph by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash



Sayuri Nakagawa

Producer, Dentsu Institute

Born in Nara Prefecture. Joined Dentsu Institute in February 2020. Coordinator for the World Values Survey and Values in a Crisis Survey. Sayuri’s research interests are in gender, well-being, and climate change. She has an MA in Promotional Media from Goldsmiths, University of London.

Born in Nara Prefecture. Joined Dentsu Institute in February 2020. Coordinator for the World Values Survey and Values in a Crisis Survey. Sayuri’s research interests are in gender, well-being, and climate change. She has an MA in Promotional Media from Goldsmiths, University of London.

Taro Magome

Producer, Dentsu Institute

Taro Magome was born in Kagoshima, Japan in 1982. After working in several advertising agencies, he moved to Dentsu Digital Inc., where his duties included direction focused on tools for managing advertising on social network services. Since joining Dentsu Institute in February 2020, he has engaged chiefly in data-based analysis of the society of the future.

Taro Magome was born in Kagoshima, Japan in 1982. After working in several advertising agencies, he moved to Dentsu Digital Inc., where his duties included direction focused on tools for managing advertising on social network services. Since joining Dentsu Institute in February 2020, he has engaged chiefly in data-based analysis of the society of the future.