A nationwide representative survey on the knowledge and attitudes of Hungarians towards environmental protection.1
There are practically no Hungarians who are not preoccupied with the future of the planet. Nine out of ten residents are climate-worried and concerned about the consequences of pollution. This is especially true for people in Budapest and those with university degrees, as they are the most aware of the threats to our planet. Although the various demographic groups have different views on their importance, the majority agree on one thing: environmental protection is a shared responsibility of society as a whole.
1 1 Survey conducted in January 2021 among Hungarian Internet users between the age of 20 and 65 with a sample size of 1,000 people, representing the gender, age and educational background of the population, and the type of settlement where they live.
Air pollution is the best-known environmental problem
On average, Hungarians can list 12 environmental problems. The most well-known are those that affect people in general or directly affect people in Hungary: air pollution, excessive deforestation, wastage of food, water, energy and clothing, as well as climate change and global warming. Awareness of the problems, however, does not necessarily equate to how important respondents consider them. We asked people to rank these, with the majority worried about excessive deforestation the most.
It is everyone’s fault, and we can all do something about it
Nine out of ten people strongly stated they were taking action to tackle environmental problems. The top three of these actions are selective waste collection, avoiding wastage of energy, water and food, and cutting back on shopping. One in ten households consider using renewable energy, while 4% of respondents drive an electric or hybrid car.
The concept of sustainable development is becoming increasingly well known
Among the more abstract terms related to environmental protection, respondents were most familiar with sustainable development, while only 3% had heard of ESG investments. Three out of ten did not know any of these concepts.
Investment literacy and habits
The research also looked specifically at the knowledge and practices of Hungarians in relation to investment. The best-known types of investment are treasury bills, sovereign securities, fixed deposits and savings accounts. The least frequently mentioned were investment funds, works of art and valuables.
The most popular form of investment is the fixed deposit or savings account. This is followed by retirement savings accounts and savings-supplemented insurance policies.
Sustainable companies preferred
What makes a company attractive for small investors? Primarily, its profitability, the treatment of its employees, and the company’s sustainable operation. 85% of respondents claimed that they would prefer a financial product if it also took sustainability into consideration.