1 NOV 2021

Could behaviour change on climate be driven by TV?

Seventy per cent of people across Europe are willing to change their behaviour to address the climate crisis, according to research published by Sky and the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT).

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Seventy per cent of people across Europe are willing to change their behaviour to address the climate crisis, according to research published by Sky and the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT). Using behavioural science techniques, Sky and BIT set out ten new behavioural science principles to guide broadcasters on helping their viewers to take action. The study develops a clear role for content creators and broadcasters to inspire green behaviours from their viewers, as well as revealing data on consumer attitudes to climate change.

The report, entitled “The power of TV: nudging viewers to decarbonise their lifestyles,” is being launched at the United Nations’ 26th Climate Conference in Glasgow by Dana Strong, Sky Group CEO; Professor David Halpern, CEO of BIT; and Mark Strong, actor and Executive Producer of Sky's “Temple”.

“At Sky we have set out our pathway to achieve net zero carbon, but we know this alone will not be enough. Through the content that we bring into our customers’ homes we believe broadcasters have a clear role and responsibility to encourage lifestyle changes that address the climate crisis. We’re publishing these research results in full as an open tool for content creators and broadcasters. This means that for the first time we have empirical evidence demonstrating how the creative industries can work together to deliver the behaviour change required to meet our net zero ambitions,”  Dana Strong said.

Over 3,500 participants were interviewed in the report from the six countries in Europe where Sky operates. Of those polled, 70% state that they are worried about the environment and the same proportion (seven in ten) state they are willing to make lifestyle changes in order to tackle the climate crisis. However, many respondents also said they are overwhelmed by choice and their understanding of how to make lifestyle changes to reduce their carbon impact is low. Only 16% knew what they needed to do to act sustainably, while just two in ten people said they know how to recycle or save energy at home.

The study also found 80% of people across Europe support the idea of broadcasters using content and advertising to encourage people to adopt more environmentally positive behaviours. Of those asked, three in four survey participants support TV broadcasters “nudging” viewers to think about the environment, whether that’s through documentaries, advertising or increasing the coverage of environmental issues in the news.

“Broadcasters like Sky have a unique role in fostering behaviour changes that are essential to tackle climate change. Our new report finds not only that people’s behaviours and attitudes are significantly shaped by the media they consume, but also that viewers expect and encourage broadcasters to do more to educate and inspire viewers to do their bit for the environment. We hope this report will provide broadcasters with actionable and evidence-based insights on how they can do their bit to avert the climate crisis,”  commented David Halpern.

For the first time we have empirical evidence demonstrating how the creative industries can work together to deliver the behaviour change required to meet our net zero ambitions” Dana Strong CEO of Sky Group