Eight in ten Romanians believe that climate change is caused by human activities and 67% of them have already adjusted their purchasing behavior in order to limit the negative impact on the natural environment, according to the Deloitte study Sustainable Actions Index, conducted in 26 countries. These percentages place Romanians’ beliefs and willingness to adjust purchasing preferences above the average in other CE countries included in the research.
The study also reveals that climate change has become a source of anxiety, especially for people living in regions where they are more likely to personally experience extreme weather conditions, such as the countries closer to the equator. However, even in areas with relatively smaller consequences of climate change, such as Central Europe, the percentage of respondents declaring concern is high. In Romania, 59% of people are worried because of the climate change, slightly above the CE average, of 52%.
The research also highlights a correlation between climate concerns and statements of climate-friendly behavior, such as saving energy and water, not wasting food or water and limiting purchases to necessary products only. Other less frequent behaviors to fight climate change include recycling or composting house waste, reducing or eliminating meat consumption. In Romania, 71% of respondents reduce energy use in their homes, 70% reduce food waste, 70% buy sustainable products (significantly above the CE average, of 50%), 69% try to buy only what they need, 63% recycle or compost household trash (above the CE average, of 54%), 61% avoid optional or leisure flights and 58% buy local products. Among the less frequent actions taken by Romanians to limit climate change, the study indicates powering homes with renewable energy and limiting meat consumption (28% each).
The analysis also shows a significant link between sustainable behavior and age. Younger respondents are more likely to report adjusting their behaviors to address climate change.
“Rising climate-related concerns are driving change in behavior among people and institutional citizens. These changes occur on different levels, from adjusting daily routines, to choosing employers, to demanding actions from the private sector and from the decisionmakers. Deloitte has been involved in fighting climate change in its own specific ways, through investments of USD1 billion in global Sustainability and Climate practice, through research on the matter and proposals of solutions, and through sharing knowledge and skills with our colleagues and our clients. This is a cause that individuals and companies must support together,” stated Alexandru Reff, Country Managing Partner, Deloitte Romania and Moldova.
The impact of environmental changes also influences people’s professional choices and perception over employers, the Deloitte study shows. In Romania, 44% of respondents say they would consider switching to an employer that places greater emphasis on environmental issues, slightly above the CE average, of 36%, especially among younger respondents. On the other hand, 35% of respondents say that their employers have already made changes in order to operate in a sustainable manner.
Another behavior influenced by climate change anxiety is the voting preference. The study shows that, globally, 50% of respondents are more likely to vote for candidates supporting actions to address climate change. In CE, the share is slightly lower, of 43%, while in Romania it is 37%.
The Deloitte study Sustainable Actions Index was conducted in 26 countries around the globe. For the Central Europe region, it was made based on data collected from 4,000 respondents in Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania.