New study reveals threat to the environment: we say we care but leave it to others to take responsibility


While 92% of people want to minimise their impact on the environment, only 31% think it is their responsibility.

Legal & General’s Helena Morrissey urges collective ownership to create the world we want to live in.

London, 18 July 2018: The UK is divided about who holds responsibility for creating a greener world, according to a new report released today by Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM). LGIM is calling on individuals to take control and own their world through investing and positive action.

The report, which forms part of LGIM’s ‘Own Your World’ campaign, reveals an impressive nine out of ten (92%) of the 18 to 55 year-olds surveyed said that minimising their impact on the environment is important, with 27% of under 35s saying it is very important.

However, opinion is split over who ‘owns’ the issue: 31% say responsibility lies with individuals, 31% say the onus is on the government and 15% believe businesses should be responsible for leading the way. One in ten (11%) say they just don’t know.

The view of environmental responsibility adjusts in a surprising way across the generations, with more under 25s holding the government responsible than those aged 45 to 55 (40% vs 29%). Those over 45 come out on top when it comes to taking individual action (38% vs 21%). Research conducted by Opinium for Legal & General involving over 2,000 adults across the UK reveals that there is a lack of understanding about what can be done to reduce the strain on the environment. Of the young people surveyed, a fifth of those under 25 (21%) don’t know how to make a difference and over half (51%) felt they couldn’t afford to. Encouragingly, 18% believe that more environmental education at school would be extremely beneficial, highlighting a thirst for knowledge.

Legal & General Group’s investment management arm, Legal & General Investment Management, is one of the world’s leading investment companies with nearly £1 trillion in assets under management globally.  LGIM is known for engaging with the boards of the companies in which it invests across its whole range of funds in order to raise their standards in areas such as climate change and diversity. LGIM recently committed to exclude companies that have failed to address climate change risk from its Future World Fund range and has been voting against the chairman at companies with less than 25% women on their boards.

Helena Morrissey, Head of Personal Investing at Legal & General Investment Management, said:

“The environment is one big ecosystem. We need to become one ecosystem too and work together to address the threats to the world we live in. It is not any one business, government, or person’s responsibility to save the planet.

“Businesses play a major part in what happens to our world and we can encourage them to take the right actions. Investors own businesses; we can have much more influence than is currently understood. We can write our own future. Legal & General’s new Own Your World campaign is about empowering a generation to drive change together, to understand the crucial role that businesses play in making progress possible, and to take more control of their financial futures.

“Collectively we really can do something about the issues we care about – it’s dangerous to assume someone else is taking care of it!”

Own Your World:

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