Social & environmental research for good.

Australia – August 2021.

This data is for public usage of Catalyst Supporters and Partners subject to the terms of usage outlined  here.

August data release.

  • Responses from industry-leading online research panels via the Glow platform.
  • 1,241 interviews with a representative sample of Australians aged 18+
  • Fieldwork was conducted w/c August 16 2021.
  • Responses reviewed by a human for quality & consistency.


Welcome to the August 2021 data release. Each month we monitor consumer attitudes to more than 30 social and environmental issues to track how people are feeling about the issues we face as a society.   

This month, we also dig deeper into the impacts of the pandemic on our mental wellbeing and sense of community, look at attitudes to mandatory vaccination, discover our views on racism, and much more.

We’ll also be releasing guest analysis from Rebecca J Huntley, celebrated researcher, speaker and author of ‘How to Talk About Climate Change’, and hear from Silver Lining Strategy’s Director and events strategist, Stu Speirs. We’ve also provided more than 20 ‘infographics that highlight some of the most fascinating insights gathered. 

We hope that the following excerpts spark intrigue, create conversation and give you ideas for moving your own business forward. 

Don’t forget to share the data and submit your own questions for consideration by Monday, September 6 for the September research wave. If you have any specific issues you’d like to understand more deeply, contact To view last month’s data release, click here.

Thank you for your support,
The Catalyst Team

The most pressing issues this month:

Covid-19 remains top of mind:

Unsurprisingly, given the country’s continuing state of lockdown, this month’s data highlights that COVID-19 is our single greatest concern. Climate change, cost of living, and mental health are unwavering as the next most important issues, while ocean pollution rises in importance to become the 5th most pressing issues for Australians.  

Focus issues.

Below are a selection of statistics from this month’s data. Given the breadth of the questions asked – attitudes, current behaviour, potential solutions – this only scratches the surface of the issues covered, so please reach out to the Catalyst team if you have specific areas of interest.

Widespread support for the vaccination strategy:

The Catalyst survey showed that 80% of all Australians plan to get vaccinated this year, with 11% saying they wouldn’t, and 10% saying they didn’t know whether they would or not. The survey confirmed that older Australians are more likely to want to get vaccinated, with 87% of Baby Boomers (over 55s) saying they would, compared to just 66% of Gen Zs. However, mandatory workplace vaccinations are a concern for the minority. One in 10 Australians (11%) say they would leave their job if their employer made the Covid-19 vaccination mandatory – a figure that rises to nearly one in five among young Australians.

Support for vaccination passports split by age:

As various public and trade association bodies make plans for ‘vaccine passport’ for event attendance, we asked whether people felt vaccinations should be mandatory to access specific public places. The research showed that support for vaccinations to access public spaces increases with respondent age.

Baby Boomers were the most likely age group to support mandatory vaccinations in Cafes, Restaurants and Pubs (71%), Sporting Events (77%) and Indoor Concerts and Theatre (79%).

 In contrast 45% of Generation Z believe you shouldn’t have to be vaccinated if going to a Café, Restaurant or Pub; 36% to a sporting event; and 35% to an indoor concert or theatre. Less than one in five Baby Boomers believe you should not have to be vaccinated to enter those spaces. 

Lockdown support but pessimism for the future:

A key focus issue this month, mental health, is believed by 39% to be an issue requiring the most immediate attention. Despite lockdown being a polarising issue in relation to mental health, 69% of respondents believe that lockdowns are the most appropriate measure to stop the spread of COVID. General sentiment towards lockdown release schedules leans toward the pessimistic: 62% of respondents believe there will be lockdowns in their state in 2022, while only 14% are optimistic that we’ll be lockdown-free. 

Are we a racist nation?

With recent news coverage of racism top of mind, this month we sought to understand whether Australians believe we are a racist nation. The insight is damning; 44% of all respondents agreed with the statement that ‘Australia is a racist nation’. Younger age groups feel even more strongly that we have work to do, with 47% of Gen Z respondents (age 18-24) and 57% of Millennial respondents (age 25-44) agreeing with the statement.  

Additional areas of investigation:

  • Sentiment towards climate change and loss of forests/habitat
  • An investigation of the product benefit claims that people are willing to pay a premium for
  • The actions consumers expect businesses to take to address a range of social and environmental issues.

All data can be cross-analysed against other variables and responses. Please contact the team with any specific enquiries.     

Media coverage.

Examples of Catalyst media coverage


Research company Glow has launched a monthly survey to gather insights into changing consumer habits...


According to the Catalyst Social Responsibility Survey, 55% of over-65s would pay more for a product with...


This month, Director of events company Silver Lining Strategy, Stu Speirs, investigates how Australians are feeling in regards to their community – and how they feel about their personal connection to that community.

Access the data.

Portal screenshot

Thanks to our Catalyst Partners:

These businesses are helping to fund and promote this program, so that more people are aware of and acting to address these issues.

Shareable content:

Please feel free to share the data from Catalyst and the images below. Whenever you do please attribute to ‘Source: Catalyst Sustainability Research August 2021 ‘, use the hashtag #Catalystdata and link back to   

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