Canada: 9 in 10 Fear Their Lifestyle is Not Sustainable

Map of Canada

James Hoggan and Associates conducted a survey of 2,500 Canadians and found that about 9 out of 10 "fear that over-consumption of the world’s resources threatens the health and welfare of their children — and lack of government leadership is the biggest cause of the problem". More than 8 out of 10 would want "stricter laws and regulations to support a more sustainable economy that protects and manages the country’s resources for future generations". More of the survey's findings after the jump.

  • 92% of Canadians surveyed agree Canada should phase in mandatory standards requiring all new buildings and appliances to deliver 50% more energy efficiency within 10 years

  • 83% agree Canada should reduce taxes on income, payroll and investment, and replace these with taxes on pollution and depletion of natural resources

  • 82% agree Canada should introduce laws to promote denser, walkable cities that would make public transit more practical and reduce traffic congestion.

The survey was conducted in all Canadian provinces except Quebec between February 14 and 21, 2006 (and Quebec is one of the most eco-sensitive provinces in the country, so the results might have been even higher).

Hoggan also said companies and organizations need to do a better job of explaining the term "sustainability". The survey found that 53 per cent of respondents were not familiar with the term "sustainability", and 70 per cent of respondents could not define the term.

"Most Canadians don’t know what sustainability means. The term means different things to different people. The result is that most companies and organizations are talking to themselves and a small group of insiders when they use the term," said Hoggan.

"You can’t influence an audience until you understand where they are on an issue," said Hoggan. "This research goes a long way to identifying Canadians’ values on sustainability and addressing barriers and how to overcome them. This is important because as public opinion goes, so goes sustainability."

That interesting. We, at TreeHugger, will have to keep trying to explain the basics of what sustainability is...

The research found that once the term sustainability was defined, over 80% of Canadians ranked sustainability as a high or top national priority.

Because it is obviously worth it.

Via ::CSRWire