City dwellers are slightly less concerned about climate change during the COVID-19 pandemic

YIT Corporation Press release, December 15, 2020, at 08:00 a.m.

Sustainable Urban Environments 2020
Sustainable Urban Environments 2020

65% of Finnish city dwellers are worried about climate change.

Of the Sustainable Urban Environments Barometer 2020 respondents, 15% were very worried, 20% were worried and 30% were fairly worried about climate change. Of the respondents, 25% were only slightly worried and 10% were not at all worried – in other words, a total of 35% of city dwellers.

Last year, the corresponding total figures were 68% and 32%, respectively. In other words, city dwellers are slightly less concerned about climate change than they have been.

More than ever, worry about the climate divides men and women: worry about the climate has reduced by as much as 11% among men aged 36–50 and by 7% among men aged 18–35.

Among all men taking part in the barometer survey, worry about the climate by those very worried or worried about the climate has dropped by 5% (n=471) in total, whereas the corresponding figure among women (n=532) has remained the same as last year.

These results are from the Sustainable Urban Environments barometer*, which is a survey of more than 1,000 Finnish city dwellers commissioned by YIT and conducted by Prior Konsultointi in September 2020. The barometer survey was aimed at revealing the types of urban environments Finns would like to see developed. The participating city dwellers express their views on various themes, such as home, work and urban environment, transport and retail. The barometer was conducted for the third time. In part, the results are compared to those of the previous surveys.

“Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting concerns, climate change still worries more than half of city dwellers and consumers expect concrete climate acts from companies as well as society. YIT is committed to halving the CO2 emissions of its operations and self-developed projects by 2030,” says Mia Ranta-aho, Head of Sustainability, YIT.

Above all, the concern about climate change is evident in people’s reducing their warm water consumption, increasing recycling, switching to eco-friendly electricity and cutting their beef consumption. Clearly, those concerned about climate change have made more changes in their way of life with regard to housing, transport and diet compared to those less worried about climate change.

An interesting highlight is the way meat substitutes divide opinions: one in five of respondents said that they have increased their consumption of meat substitutes, while half of respondents do not use them at all.

Seven out of ten city dwellers say that they have increased walking or cycling in the last year or before that, with 18% of respondents having specifically increased walking and/or cycling this year.


*Sustainable Urban Environments barometer 2020
The Sustainable Urban Environments barometer was conducted for the third time. The survey is targeted at the residents of eight cities: Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Tampere, Turku, Oulu, Jyväskylä and Kuopio. The data was collected by an online panel administered by CINT Ab during September 23–28, 2020. There were 1,003 respondents. The sample is representative of the 18–75-year-old population of the participating cities in terms of respondents’ age, gender and the size of each city.

For further information, please contact:
Johanna Savolainen, Communications Manager, YIT Corporation, tel. +358 (0)44 305 4594,

YIT is the largest Finnish and a significant North European construction company and urban developer. We develop and build apartments and living services, business premises and entire areas. We are also specialised in demanding infrastructure construction. Together with our customers, our nearly 8,000 professionals are creating more functional, attractive and sustainable cities and living environments. We operate in 10 countries: Finland, Russia, Sweden, Norway, the Baltic countries, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland. Our revenue in 2019 was approximately EUR 3.4 billion. YIT Corporation's share is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Oy.