GROHE Global Handwashing Day

Climate Change Survey

The majority of Europeans are dissatisfied with the climate and environmental policies in their countries

  • In the run-up to the UN Climate Change Conference, YouGov on behalf of GROHE surveyed 1,000 citizens from seven European countries(1), about their attitudes to climate issues.

  • 57 percent of all respondents are dissatisfied with the climate and environmental policy in their countries.

  • Just under half – 47 percent – are certain that the 1.5-degree target of the Paris Agreement from 2015 will not be met.

  • According to the respondents, the most important drivers in the transformation towards greater sustainability are government regulations (37 percent), the actions of companies (27 percent) and their own individual actions (21 percent).

Düsseldorf, 1st November 2021 – What are the attitudes of Europeans towards the climate crisis? How satisfied are they with climate and environmental policy in their country? What is sustainability worth to them? In the run-up to the UN Climate Summit, which begins at the end of the month in Glasgow, Scotland, YouGov conducted a representative survey on behalf of GROHE on this topic in seven European countries, where the topics are discussed with varying intensity. As a sanitary brand that has been pursuing sustainable action for decades, climate issues are of central importance to GROHE.

In Germany, only half of respondents know about the UN climate summit

Only 49 percent of respondents in Germany know that the UN Climate Change Conference is taking place. A comparison of respondents from all seven countries shows that Germany is more in the middle of the pack, similar to Denmark (51 percent). Seventy-four percent of Italians, 68 percent of Brits and only 34 percent of respondents from Russia are aware of the conference. Moreover, 61 percent of German respondents are not satisfied or not very satisfied with the climate and environmental policy in their country – an impression that is reflected in the other European countries(2).

Pessimists shape the picture when assessing the 1.5-degree target

When asked whether the 1.5-degree target is still achievable, 16 percent of the Germans interviewed answered yes, this is still possible – the vast majority of 58 percent said no.
In France, the UK and the Netherlands, the picture is even bleaker. Here, only 11 percent of respondents believe that this is still manageable. In general, respondents from urban residential areas across Europe are more optimistic about this issue than people living in rural areas.

Sustainability: Yes! – But it’s the price that counts

When it comes to purchasing decisions, the majority of Germans give priority to price. Fifty-four percent of those surveyed make their decision with price in mind – only 29 percent have the sustainability of the product as a priority. Interestingly in the age group 55 and older, more people are willing to buy sustainably, at 31 percent. By contrast, a look at respondents living in rural areas shows that they pay significantly more attention to price (60 percent). Compared with other countries, Germany is in the middle of the field, but well behind France. There, 49 percent of respondents say they pay attention to sustainability when buying. At 21 percent, Russia comes last in terms of sustainability, but with 70 percent it leads the country evaluation when it comes to price in purchasing decisions. On average, all respondents (53 percent) agree: in the end, price is the deciding factor when buying.

The motto when buying new products: avoid waste and plastic

When buying new products, many respondents pay attention to whether they can save energy, waste, plastic or water by the purchase. In Germany, saving waste and plastic ranked first with 62 and 59 percent respectively, followed by saving energy with 57 percent. Saving water is important for 45 percent. At 39 percent, the issue of saving CO2 emissions is less prominent. This is quite different in Denmark, where 53 percent are already sensitive to emissions. France leads the country survey in terms of energy and water savings in connection with new purchases: 58 percent pay attention to low energy consumption and 47 percent keep an eye on water consumption. Bringing up the rear in terms of almost all potential savings from new purchases is Russia.

Influencing factors on the road to greater sustainability

When asked which factor is of central importance for a more sustainable future, in Germany three aspects come to the fore that are attributed a similarly important role: government regulation at 32 percent, and corporate responsibility and personal action at 27 percent each. In the young age group of 18- to 34-year-olds and respondents from urban environments, it is striking that government regulation receives the most approval here, at 38 percent and 35 percent respectively. Older respondents and people who live in rural areas say with 29 and 32 percent respectively that their own actions have a significant influence on a more sustainable future. A similar picture emerges in other European countries. Here, too, 25 percent of respondents in rural residential areas attach greater importance to their own actions. Russia has the highest value in terms of its own actions, at 28 percent. Italian respondents, on the other hand, attribute the highest influence factor to government regulation, at 43 percent. In the Netherlands, 39 percent say that companies have the greatest influence on shaping a more sustainable future.

Commitment to sustainability is corporate philosophy

With increasing awareness of the scarcity of resources and the climate crisis, many companies are dedicating themselves to the on-trend topic of sustainability. GROHE has embraced this topic since 2000 and laid the foundation for a climate-neutral and resource-saving circular economy in its entire value chain early on. Thomas Fuhr, Leader Fittings, LIXIL International and Co-CEO Grohe AG explains, "As part of the globally active LIXIL Corporation, GROHE is directing all its efforts towards following the climate targets agreed in the Paris Agreement of 2015 and the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN. For example,
GROHE has already been producing in a CO2-neutral manner since April 2020(3). We take the principle of the circular economy into account with innovations such as Cradle-to-Cradle-Certified® products, which use materials but do not consume them. With products like the water system GROHE Blue, we also enable to avoid plastic bottles and thus support the consumers’ strive for a more sustainable lifestyle. This makes it clear: companies are important drivers in the transformation to a regenerative future and – as the survey results show – are also perceived as such. GROHE therefore actively supports the UN Climate Summit – because economic action in harmony with the environment is possible and necessary."

(1) Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, France, Denmark and Russia.

(2) On average across all countries surveyed in the study, 57 percent of respondents said they were not satisfied with climate and environmental policies in their country. At 67 percent, respondents from Italy were the most dissatisfied.

(3) GROHE offsets so far unavoidable CO2 emissions through two compensation projects: a hydroelectric power plant in India and a borehole maintenance project in Malawi, based on extremely strict criteria such as the Gold Standard developed under the auspices of the WWF. Here, in addition to CO2 avoidance, the measures also contribute to more sustainable, ecological and social development in the vicinity of the projects.



Sarah Bagherzadegan
Sarah Bagherzadegan

Sarah Bagherzadegan

Leader Brand Communications LIXIL EMENA