Leading polling and market research firms join forces to develop industry-wide net zero strategy that aims to eliminate emissions from the sector by 2026

Their research in recent months has highlighted the level of public support for bolder climate action, and now some of the UK’s leading polling and market research firms have come together to launch a new net zero strategy designed to help slash emissions across the industry.

A number of leading market research firms, including Kantar, Ipsos, GfK, C-Space, School of Marketing and MRS, joined forces in late 2020 to form the Insight Climate Collective and this week the group published its first major report detailing how the sector could deliver net zero emissions by 2026.

Dubbed Net Zero In Sight, the plan calls on all research businesses to commit to setting a net zero emissions target for 2026 and using their experience and skills to support the wider net zero transition.

It also calls on market research firms to sign up to the Net Zero pledge, and sets out a series of recommendations on how the sector can curb emissions from sources such as air travel and office energy use.  

Specifically, the report offers guidance on how to appoint ‘climate champions’ within a business, report on business emissions, develop a decarbonisation plan, and engage staff on the need to cut emissions.

The report also incorporated the results of an industry survey, which found 95 per cent of insights professionals agree or agree strongly that climate change is an urgent issue. However, just over half said they did not see climate action as a priority for their organisation and a similar proportion feared efforts to decarbonise would prove too expensive.

Significantly, the report recommends ways employers can address barriers to staff engagement, through clear guidelines and education programmes which give more clarity on when to accept or turn down briefs, and how to challenge clients to consider the climate in their work.

“We are in an emergency the like of which we haven’t experienced before, and the time left to fix it has all-but run out,” said Jem Fawcus, Insight Climate Collective founder and CEO of Firefish. “The Insight Climate Collective is determined to draw a line in the sand for the UK’s £7bn research sector and enable our industry to pull its weight. There is only so much any of us can do in isolation. Change will happen much faster, and more effectively, through working together.

“We call upon the industry to get its own house in order, by signing up to eliminate emissions by 2026, while at the same time working to put climate considerations at the heart of all aspects of our work and using our collective experience and skills to influence clients and stakeholders. We have an ambitious timeline to turn this around, but ambition is needed in this era-defining struggle.”

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