91.7 per cent of survey respondents are willing to pay more for certified sustainable products that help minimize haze, according to an online poll of over 1,000 individuals by a Singapore-based volunteer group.
92.7 per cent of those who participated in the survey, conducted by People’s Movement to Stop Haze (PM.Haze), believe that growers and traders of palm oil and paper should show that their operations do not cause haze. Similarly, 93.5 per cent of respondents said that manufacturers and retailers of palm oil and paper products should show evidence that their procurement sources are haze-free. The unsustainable production of palm oil and paper has been identified as a major cause of the seasonal air pollution known as haze in Southeast Asia.
Participants were also quizzed about topics such as the root causes of haze and their awareness of existing sustainable certifications.
- While 83.4 per cent of respondents were aware that unsustainable palm oil cultivation was a cause of haze, only 48.9 per cent were aware that about half of all (packaged) products in supermarkets contain palm oil.
- 23.7 per cent of respondents were aware that Singaporean financial institutions do not have publicly known policies to ensure that loans and investments do not lead to haze.
- Only 29.2 per cent of respondents were aware of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an established certification scheme for sustainable paper. Similarly, 24.5 per cent were aware of Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a certification scheme for sustainable palm oil.
“People are willing to use their wallets to support responsible brands, which is encouraging,” says Tan Yi Han, the president of PM.Haze. “However, our survey also shows that consumers lack awareness of how to identify haze-free companies. Our research team has identified RSPO certification as a good starting point for haze-free palm oil. Thus, we will intensify our efforts to reach out to the public and encourage them to choose RSPO-certified products in order to support haze-free companies.”
Launched on 24 March, the haze awareness survey received responses from 1,085 individuals, of whom 97.4 per cent were Singapore residents. The median age group of the survey respondents was 25-34.
The poll is the first large-scale survey run by PM.Haze, which holds outreach events and campaigns to promote awareness of the causes and solutions to haze. A 2015 campaign with WWF-Singapore called “We Breathe What We Buy” garnered over 13,000 pledges to support brands that switch to sustainable palm oil.
Detailed results of the survey and selected respondents’ comments will be presented at the upcoming People’s Forum On Haze at SIM University, to be held on 23 April. The public event, hosted by PM.Haze, aims to bring together companies, NGOs, and communities to find solutions to stop the haze from both Singapore and regional perspectives. For more information and to register, please visit http://pmhaze.org/events/peoples-forum-on-haze-2-0/.
People’s Movement to Stop Haze (PM.Haze) was founded in February 2014 by a group of ordinary individuals in Singapore with the belief that everyone can play a part in ending transboundary haze in Southeast Asia. PM.Haze aims to empower people in Singapore with the knowledge, values and means to be drivers of global action to stop the haze and ultimately attain clean air for present and future generations.
For more information:
- Visit our website pmhaze.org
- Download our 2015 annual report: http://pmhaze.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/2015-PM.Haze-AnnualReport.pdf
For enquiries, please contact Zhang Wen (Ms.) at email@example.com.
For the full survey results, visit http://pmhaze.org/be-a-haze-fighter/haze-awareness-survey/