American consumers are becoming acutely concerned about the
environment — especially global climate change — and they believe brands and the government need to take more responsibility for solving its problems. That’s the conclusion of the 2020 edition of an
annual global study on consumer concerns related to the environment.

The study, GfK’s “Green Gauge” report, is being released today, and the 2020 edition shows climate change has become one of
Americans’ top concerns, just behind their anxiety over their personal finances.

The study — which was conducted in the spring, just as the economic effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic
were manifesting — also found a pronounced jump in the percentage of Americans who believe the companies they do business with should take more responsibility for addressing environmental problems,
rising eight points to 78% of Americans from 70% in 2010.



The percentage of Americans who believe the government and not individuals are responsible for addressing environmental concerns,
meanwhile, jumped seven points to 44% in 2020 from 37% in 2010.

Environmental angst is becoming so acute among American consumers that 59% now believe it should not take a back seat to
economic security and well-being, up 13 points from 46% in 2010.

“General sentiment towards green and sustainability has been increasing, especially when compared to the Great
Recession of 2008 and 2009,” explains Eric Wagatha, head of GfK’s Consumer Life studies in North America, adding” “Also, sustainability does benefit from economic good times – so there has
been a positive lead-up to the pandemic. We may see a tightening if the economic impact of the pandemic is longer term.”