Pinoy ‘prosumers’ ready to engage in activism: report

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A report predicting future trends in Filipino consumption behavior revealed that 88 percent of Filipino “prosumers” believe that radical action is needed to bring about real change for the planet.

Prosumers, a combination of the words “provider” and “consumer”, are persons who both consume and produce. They are defined as today’s market influencers and their behaviors are expected to be adopted by mainstream consumers 6 to 18 months from now.

In the 2021 report presented by Red Havas, the PR arm of communications agency Havas Ortega, Filipino prosumers were shown to be concerned about environmental issues including air pollution, water pollution, and global warming.

Most of those surveyed feel radical action is necessary to improve the planet’s situation. Radical acts for them, though, do not necessarily equate to extreme activities.

Eighty one percent of Filipino prosumers in the study think that little daily actions they can take to help save the planet will make a difference. A case in point is the majority of those surveyed who were willing to participate in volunteer work and buy second-hand goods.

Prosumers also engaged in other activities to benefit the environment such as learning to reuse and repair, reducing the amount they purchase, and consuming local products.

The study also indicated that social media and other digital platforms assist the growth of eco-activists. Thanks to these technologies, people can take a stand on an environmental issue by quickly signing an online petition or using a hashtag.

“When you say activism, it doesn’t have to be intense that you have to change the world. Activism is just being proactive about how you can make an impact to the world through little things,” explained Charisse Vilchez, business director of Red Havas Philippines during the round table discussion on Wednesday, February 3.

In addition, the report showed that Filipino prosumers acknowledge that they cannot effect environmental change alone. These consumers know they will need the cooperation of the government and businesses to save the planet.

In fact, 73 percent of Filipino prosumers believe that both individuals and the government need to take action to ameliorate the effects of climate change.

Concerning businesses, Filipino prosumers clearly recognize the influence of companies. The report found that 83 percent of Filipino prosumers think that large companies are more likely to effect positive change as they can reach millions of people.

Ninety six percent of these prosumers also said that start-ups will help save the planet by inventing innovative new tech solutions. Yet, these prosumers expect companies to go beyond surface-level measures like product reformulation and new packaging.

In their minds, a company’s sustainability commitment should not exist for publicity, but as an authentic effort evidenced by transparency in their supply chains and initiatives that teach consumers to be self-sufficient.

“Filipino prosumers are demanding. They demand no longer just lip service to sustainability. They want action, they want radical action and radical change,” said Gian Dela Cruz, connexion planning manager at Havas Ortega.

“If you’re a brand who claims to be sustainable and then you post something that goes against that, prosumers and your consumers and your fans will immediately call you out on that, and it goes to show how powerful this new breed of consumers is,” he said.

The “Prosumer Report: ReAct” was conducted in February and March 2020 in 28 countries to 12,521 participants. For the local sample, it had a margin of error of an estimated 6.3 percent.

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