Photo by 2013 Reads and Reacts
For the jaded among us who believe that all Chinese youth care for are money and material things, we have news for you: The 2010 Chinese Youth Green Values Report, launched by Shanghai-based sustainability consultancy Greennovate and youth-insights group enovate, shows that values among China’s young are turning a shade greener.
This is the first nationwide survey of youth attitudes towards Chinese environmental issues and awareness, conducted as part of MaGiC (Made GREEN in China), a Greenovate initiative encouraging the development of greener products and lifestyles in China. Divided between in-depth interviews in Shanghai and an online survey of over 400 students and young professionals across China (72% of whom were based outside Shanghai), the organizations aimed to discover what defines a modern quality of life for China’s young, as well as attitudes towards green products and brands. As enovate said:
when asked to select the quality of life factors that are most important in their lives, personal health and education were most often chosen by Chinese youth. (…) Owning a personal automobile and living a big city – though common goals of China’s mass youth population – were ranked the least important among China’s leading progressive and socially aware youth.
Besides this, participants also demanded greater transparency among green bands. The survey found 58% of participants had verified green product claims online and spoken of a lack of easy indicators of which products were truly ‘green’. As a result, enovate predicts that brands will face more “pressure to align with relevant youth causes, especially those that address China’s ongoing environmental issues.”
For enovate, this meant that the views of China’s youth have shifted “to a more idealistic, attainable, and personally beneficial lifestyle, rather than one that is fast-paced and spendthrift with the goal of improving material wealth.” Based on this conclusion, then, we can only assume a sizeable portion of the participants belonged to this group we covered earlier in the week.