A new study has revealed that although 60% of content creators want to make a positive impact on the environment, 84% are holding back from mentioning sustainability more in their content.
According to research released by Unilever, 84% of content creators experience at least one barrier that holds them back from sharing sustainability or environmental content. 38% of respondents cited fears of greenwashing as a reason, which was the most frequent barrier highlighted.
The study, which polled the views of 232 content creators across YouTube, TikTok and Instagram in the UK, US, Brazil and the Philippines, showed that 63% are creating more sustainability content this year compared to last year and 76% want to create even more in the future.
However, the research shows barriers to doing this include finding it difficult to transition from the main focus of their content to sustainability; thoughts on what is or isn’t sustainable can change; and not feeling educated enough on the key sustainability issues, which were all cited by 21% of respondents, while 18% said they had concerns about being “cancelled”.
The study also found that 91% of respondents would find each of the following types of advice helpful: access to content or resources on sustainable living, direct support to ask questions on sustainability briefs, support dealing with audience comments, and access to training about making trustworthy statements about the environment.
With adequate brand support, we can enhance sustainability content on social media.
Commenting on the research, Dr Adanna Steinacker, Digital Influencer, Medical Doctor and member of the Creator Council, said: “As a digital content creator, I feel a responsibility to inspire my audience with solutions that are better for our environmental and planetary health.
“It is crucial that brands and creators unite in this mission, dissecting science-backed information into creative storytelling that resonates with the public and influences change on a global scale. With adequate brand support, we can enhance sustainability content on social media, inform our communities accurately, and collectively contribute to a better environment.”
As a solution, Unilever says it is working alongside a coalition of partners, including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), to accelerate “accurate and effective” sustainability content and develop a framework and guidelines to ensure solutions are in line with the latest climate science.
Rebecca Marmot, Unilever’s Chief Sustainability Officer, commented: “We know that sustainability content on social media has the potential to drive more sustainable behaviours, with over three-quarters of consumers claiming influencers have the biggest impact on their green choices today.
“But it needs to be informative and meaningful content. Climate Week NYC 2023 is the perfect opportunity to collaborate with others and empower influencers to communicate on the key issues with credibility.”