A new report by Boston Consulting Group says while Qatar’s residents are aware of the environment, more needs to be done to ensure a successful change in sustainability efforts.
About 55 percent of Qatar consumers have reaffirmed their preparedness to incorporate more sustainable actions into their daily lives. However, Qatar recycles, reuses, or recovers only around 10% of the plastic and metal waste.
According to a survey conducted by Boston Consulting Group, an American management consulting firm, 76% of Qatar consumers are largely aware of climate change and how the issue negatively affects the environment.
60% of consumers with knowledge of the implications also perceive it to have a negative impact on the global environment, 51% percent already believing climate change is having a significant influence on their personal lives, and around two-thirds anticipating it will impact future generations.
The report, titled ‘Are Consumers in the Gulf States Ready to Go Green?’, questions why there is such a big gap between awareness and green behaviour.
The onus is on the government to remove challenges to sustainable living and implement practices that encourage green behaviours, according to the results of the study. However, in the past year, there has been an increasing focus on sustainable living in Qatar.
For example, Qatar has pledged to use sustainable construction practices at its FIFA World Cup 2022 facilities, for example, and to have 25% of its public bus fleet running on electricity by that time.
However, the main obstacle with a sustainable life was that “a sustainable lifestyle is too expensive to maintain”. “Lack of information” came in a close second, followed by “limited opportunities in the city,” “a sustainable lifestyle reduces the options available to me,” and “social pressure to maintain lifestyles.”
The problem of accessibility across the GCC is often due to inadequate infrastructure.
Infrastructure constraints also help explain why only 17% of GCC consumers use public transportation and only 20% walk or cycle to their destinations frequently—even though 70% of respondents agreed that it is important to reduce vehicle emissions.
While the sustainability movement is gaining traction across the GCC, the states have a long way to go in reaching their goals.
Consumers want more information about recycling, renewable energy, how to live sustainably, and how to reduce energy consumption.
They expect government to invest more in sustainable infrastructure, particularly recycling facilities, renewable energy, public transportation, and eco-tourism.