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The 'Beast from the East' which buried many parts of Europe in snow and ice last week, did more than ignite a bread and milk fuelled hysteria of panic-buying. It reminded us to reconsider the realities of Climate Change. 

As one of the biggest threats facing the planet, we know that young people really give a shit about climate change. This week's 52INSIGHTS explores the measures brands are taking to affect some tangible change with regard to the environment

78% of respondents in Youth Culture Uncovered 2018 stated it was important to young people to have a positive impact on society. They are genuinely concerned today about their social, ethical, cultural and health footprints on the planet. American-based researchers recently recorded that while 18-35 year olds really care about the environment, they fall behind others when it comes to actually engaging in green activities. For example, 76% of young people claim to care, but only 34% recycled paper and aluminium cans. In comparison, only 51% of the general population cared, but 46% of these managed to recycle. 

The problem? Many young people feel global problems are too big for individuals to solve. As a solution, they reward corporations or brands that take action and address problems for them. They buy their products and attend their events…. Why? They see corporations or brands as having the power of many: 'the ultimate crowd'. Spending money with companies is a form of activism: 'crowdsourcing by consumerism'.  So, there are real opportunities to engage people as a brand in relevant ways which help them become part of the bigger picture.  


Who? Ben & Jerry's. 

What? A global assembly call for climate justice. Read more here.  

Why? If it's melted, it's ruined. Just like Ben & Jerry's ice cream, if we let global warming continue as it is, our planet will be destroyed. And there is no plan(et) B. In 2002, it launched a carbon offsets programme for its manufacturing facilities and, in 2007, ran its first global warming advocacy campaign with the Dave Matthews Band.  From new flavour launches (Save Our Swirled) to lobbying event activations, the brand invests in climate action campaigns locally and globally which manifest annually.  

Ben & Jerry's collaboration with Stop Climate Chaos in 2016, "Melting Leaders" outside government buildings. 

Who? Patagonia

What? Environment first, profit second. 

Why? While many clothing companies are starting to tackle the problems associated with 'fast fashion', this brand's foundations lie in advocating utility and durability. Patagonia has demonstrated admirable self-disinterest, encouraging people to fix their clothes over buying a new jacket from them. Equally, in the Trump Era, the brand has become his ecological anthesis, reacting publicly to counteract his governments' anti-environmental actions. For example, Patagonia used its platform to accuse Trump of stealing land when he rolled-back on the national monuments agreement.  

With "Don't Buy This Jacket" Patagonia put its hand up to its environmental failings, declaring war on consumerism gone berserk.   

Who? Lego 

What? Lego developed a Plant-Based Plastic

Why? Lego is one of the most iconic uses of plastic. But it's no secret that plastic is a dirty, environmentally unfriendly product to produce and use. Lego recently responded by releasing the first-ever plant-based plastic, produced from sugar cane. The Bioplastic is 100% biodegradable and contributes to Lego's commitment to using more sustainable materials in the majority of its products and packaging by 2030. 

Who?  Bank of Aland 

What? The Baltic Sea Project and Aland index, a programme that calculates the individual carbon footprint of each financial transaction a customer makes. The result of this is a monthly bill, alongside simple options to compensate for carbon emissions based on an individual's behaviour, and you can compare and track your behaviour alongside the national average based on its data. 

Why? The Bank and its customers are from an increasingly polluted area around the Baltic Sea. It wanted to influence their everyday decision to save the local environment. The Baltic Sea Project and Aland index helps raise public awareness and curate shared mindsets by helping people understand their own behaviour in a wider context. Change is created together - the index is available to any bank who wants to use it. 


  • Young people are taking climate change seriously, and you should too. Brand efforts in climate justice are rewarded by consumers. Start now or get ready to be left behind. In the journey toward the circular economy, those that don't step up can prepare to go out of step with the lives of young consumers. As an added plus, helping young people to be a part something bigger with you is a huge opportunity in this space.  
  • Recognise your own failings and make sure your efforts make sense for your brand. Advocate for real change both internally and externally, for the sake of our planet's existence. 
Check out some of our previous insights.
The Farce Awakens: Pepsi’s Watershed moment for Mission Marketing
Not Keeping Quiet...
The New Resistance

The Youth Lab is the insights and trends division at Thinkhouse, the youth marketing agency. 
For more insights, connect with The Youth Lab at

For weekly insights into the beliefs, habits, loves, hates, passions and hopes of today’s 18-35 year olds, sign up for 52 Insights here:

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