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About our survey of 2,500 people in five countries

What do people of different ages and in different countries think about the future? What lifestyle do they currently have, what environmental threats do they think about and what do they want to do about them? It’s time for a second sneak peek: a look at the major survey that forms part of the basis for Innventia’s third Global Outlook Report: A Cellulose-Based Society.

Dina Dedic

Dina Dedic is a researcher at Innventia and has been one of the team working on the new report. Here she explains about the major survey that was completed prior to the report, in cooperation with Kairos Future. 

Who was the survey aimed at? 
In total, we had responses from 2,500 people in five countries, 500 per country: Sweden, Brazil, Germany, the United States and China. That is some solid data! 

First we listed the markets in which a future society based on biological raw materials might have great potential. Based on that, we selected the five countries. Participants were chosen at random in the age range from 16 to 88 years, but Chinese and Brazilian participants we predominantly from urban areas as the Internet is often lacking in rural areas and small towns.

What was the survey about?
We organised this survey because we wanted to understand how the attitudes and lifestyles of people differ globally, and how they view the environment and the forest. Different countries’ politics, culture and history affect people’s ideals and values, something that in turn affects their consumption and relationship with the environment. 

One of the themes in the survey was peoples’ view on nature and the environment. What do they perceive as the most urgent environmental threats and how committed are they? We also asked who they felt bore responsibility for the environment. In some countries it was the individual consumer and in others it was the government that was considered as ultimately responsible.

We then talked more specifically about materials. Which did they perceive as exclusive, reliable, sustainable and environmentally friendly? We wanted to understand how people associate and relate materials to different perceived values. If you talk about “biobased materials”, for example, this is not perceived as positive in all senses but instead unreliable and not particularly exclusive. With wood, however, it is quite the opposite! People felt that wood was exclusive and durable, although it is, of course, a biobased material. 

Finally, we talked about the forest – our own area. Naturally, we wanted to know what people thought about and what they associated with the forest. Here, the results varied a lot between countries. In most countries, the participants associated the forest with recreation, wildlife and clean air. In some countries, the forest was also viewed as a given natural resource, while in others people would rather let the forest remain untouched.

Word cloud of what Americans associate with the forest.
Word cloud of what Americans associate with the forest.

Any exciting examples of results from the survey?
A little surprisingly, the countries overall were very worried. It is also interesting to see how the focus differs from one country to another. For example, the Chinese, Brazilians and Americans were more concerned for their immediate environment and their own family and health, while Germans and Swedes were more worried about international and global environmental threats, such as climate change. 

Both Brazil and China responded that the key to building a better environment is effective recycling systems. In these countries, landfills and waste mountains are urgent problems compared with Germany or Sweden, where we are pretty good at taking care of our waste.
Working to build a cellulose-based society, with recycling as the foundation, could be one way of reducing the global concern and contribute to a more sustainable management of the planets´ resources. We are now looking forward with excitement to how our research report can contribute to this!” 

Would you like to find out more? You can read the first interview about A Cellulose-Based Society "What we did, how and why" if you klick on the link to the right.

There will be a further sneak peek before the report is released on 24 May.