It’s obviously common, but it’s still true: in the rarest of cases, one denies the part that likes to grab things on the easier end. Even when it comes to the climate crisis, even if we are open and sensitive to problems, we try to reduce our spending on potential responses to it. Balázs Szécsi opinion article.

To the west of Lajtá, it is no longer surprising that stocks of companies that perform outstanding in terms of sustainability are more popular and more expensive. This trend is well illustrated by the fact that in the United States, the proportion of large companies reporting on ESG in the entire business sector has grown from 20 to 90 percent within ten years. If we compare it with those of the renegades, that is, those who do not provide such reports, we find significant differences in the valuation of stocks.

Of course, Hungary is not yet America, but more and more business players are embarking on the path of the core commitment to sustainability that was made earlier. Meanwhile, environmental protection has become more important among the residents as well. So much so that the vast majority of respondents in a representative survey conducted last year, 85 percent, said they prefer financial products that also take sustainability into account.

The study also revealed that there are practically no Hungarians who would not be preoccupied with the future of the planet: nine out of ten have declared an interest in protecting the environment, and eight feel that environmental problems have a direct impact on their lives. Eighty-seven percent of respondents are somewhat concerned about climate change, and 63 percent openly said that protecting the environment is so important that the fate of future generations depends on it.

One in three participants is seriously concerned about the potential consequences, particularly from Budapest and those with a university degree. Different demographic groups differed not only in this, but also in identifying the most well-known environmental problems. For example, young people in their twenties and nineties have put waste recycling and global warming on top of the imaginary podium while successfully completing their higher education with waste and high carbon emissions. The latter is also the leader of the list among residents of Budapest, in addition, residents of the capital especially often mentioned plastic pollution, which 83 percent of them have already encountered in some form.

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The snag is that while 90 percent of those surveyed said they take action against problems themselves, in terms of detail, it turns out that the majority of people will reach the most easily achievable, low-cost goals. This is partly due to the fact that in many cases we receive little scary specific information about environmental issues, even though we talk about them a lot and more. The only example is that the older generation is at the forefront of saving on heating or water use because they lived during socialism when it was not available indefinitely. Very few people associate this type of generational savings with sustainability, which is not surprising in light of the fact that generations have grown up without even addressing the latter: even 40 years ago, there was little talk about global environmental problems, and only in 1992 thanks to the Rio Agreement, it was reached To the wider world that something needs to be done about CO2 emissions.

And here comes the other factor that runs counter to the ever-increasing environmental awareness. The younger generations only had an idea of ​​the scarcity of socialism from the novels of the elderly, when in fact they were socialists over increased prosperity. It follows from the simple way of life that if they could live comfortably, they would live that way – and this often goes against the ecosystem of consciousness. It reveals that sustainability at the level of ordinary people is often not shaped by strong awareness but by fashion trends – electric cars are a great example of this. According to advertisements, this is environmentally friendly and often includes government support. But do we know for sure that it is environmentally friendly? Or are we just guessing?

Meanwhile, even those whose green approach has long gone beyond the level of intentions do not always receive detailed formulas and enough information for an environmentally conscious life. It’s an old cliché of corporate governance, but it can also be used more broadly to improve what we can measure. For many activities (eg lower meat consumption, lower heating temperatures, substitution of car use by other means of transportation), we don’t know exactly the carbon footprint and it takes a lot of effort to figure out where a pork leg, for example, was produced, in which factory. How they were fed, how they were transported, etc. What are their total and specific emissions of carbon dioxide? Unfortunately, this is the reason why many people focus most of their attention, for example, on the selective collection of waste, while the type has the least added value in reducing emissions …

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The author is an investor contact for ALTEO.

Alteo is a sponsor of articles on future environmentally conscious planning.


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