Insights Blog

Want to fight the climate crisis and win customers? Use your data

Climate and data – Exasol

Consumers care about climate change.

A glance at current headlines prove it’s an issue galvanizing young people, driving change in millennial behavior, and causing worry and concern among all generations. Add in the extreme weather experienced across the planet in the last year alone – from wildfires in Australia, Hurricanes in the US, and high temperatures in the UK – and there’s no denying that climate change is a global issue. And, according to data from our recent People, Planet, Data report the climate emergency is changing attitudes around where people buy and their relationships with brands.

This offers an opportunity: to foster global collaboration between the public, business and governments in tackling the climate crisis. But this collaboration will require data.

Data and COP26

As world leaders meet over the coming weeks at COP26 to address the climate crisis, the role of business and of public behavior will come under the microscope – both in a positive and negative light. Change needs to happen quickly and we expect – and need – big outcomes from the conference. 

To deliver on the new pledges, promises and goals, all sorts of organizations will need access to the right insights to develop a clear path forward that will make everyone – businesses, consumers and governments –accountable for their attitudes and practices, and set out tangible targets for the future. To measure progress, data – as in so many aspects of modern life – will be key.

The customer is king

Data will also be crucial for businesses looking to maintain their customer-base and grow their businesses. According to our recent research more than 4 in 5 consumers consider climate change, diversity and inclusion (D&I), and to what degree a company follows ethical business practices when choosing brands to purchase from. Looking ahead, proving those ethical practices will become ever more vital.

This is because more than 50% of consumers believe companies have a responsibility to make positive changes around sustainability and D&I. And even for those that say they wouldn’t stop buying because of it, around half say this isn’t because it doesn’t matter. Our research highlights that consumer expectations of brands is changing. While this scrutiny shows no sign of stopping, there are concerns around whether people voting with their wallets is enough to drive real change.

In other words: is the relationship between businesses and consumers enough to tip the balance in favour of the planet?

Prove your credibility with data

Businesses and governments alike must go further in proving that they are making a concerted and significant effort to change. Over two-thirds of those we surveyed consider demanding evidence of climate change, D&I and ethical and sustainable business practices. But it’s not enough to release reports or statements on climate change. A large majority (66%) want evidence in the form of hard data of climate change initiatives. 

Businesses need to listen and use data and create a system that uses benchmarks to assess companies, and pushes them to prove they’re worthy of consumers’ money. Being able to show their customers that they are leading from the front will be a win for all.

The time for action is now. At Exasol, we believe in the power of data and its ability to provide a clear picture and actionable insight that can tackle even the biggest of challenges, like climate change.

We are practicing what we preach and take this responsibility of being a global business very seriously. We share the core values of the UN Global Compact in areas such as human rights, labor standards, environmental protection and anti-corruption. From corporate governance to our Green Team, reducing our carbon footprint and our focus on learning and development, Exasol is actively looking to continue improving as an organization.

Action is only worthwhile if it can be measured and proven. We encourage you to read our People, Planet, Data report to learn about how you can use data to impact your business practices. It is the only way we will begin to protect our most precious asset – our planet.