Consumer Behaviour Change leading to Demand Reduction
Perhaps the best known example of our consumer behaviour change work is the Chi campaign in Viet Nam.
This positive message campaign involves several partners, including TRAFFIC, Save the Rhino International and social marketing group PSI. The campaign focuses less on the plight of the rhino and more on the consumption of the end product in a bid to alter consumer attitudes.
Specially commissioned market research revealed that the main users of rhino horn were wealthy, urban businessmen between the ages of 35 and 50.
Launched in September 2014, the campaign is based upon the concept of ‘Chi’ or strength of will that exists within Vietnamese culture.
It promotes the idea that success and masculinity stem from within, not from rhino horns or products made from this material.
One of the taglines of the campaign messaging reads ‘the most charismatic and successful men create their own good fortune’.
A number of events have taken place in support of the Chi campaign, including:
In May 2014, the Traditional Medicine Administration under Viet Nam’s Ministry of Health, TRAFFIC and WWF-Viet Nam hosted workshops to discuss how traditional medicine practitioners can assist in the fight against rhino poaching, with presentations outlining the issues with this product, the main consumer groups and alternative medicines to recommend.
In October 2014, the Viet Nam Association for Women Entrepreneurs held its inaugural Congress, co-hosted by TRAFFIC, where they discussed and acknowledged the important contribution their leaders can make to address issues, such as the demand for illegal rhino horn.
In October 2014, traditional medicine practitioners met in Hanoi to reinforce a commitment to the correct management of medicinal resources and develop messaging to discourage the use of illegally traded wildlife in medicines.
In January 2015, a pledge was signed by leading traditional medicine practitioners in Viet Nam committing them to refraining from engaging in the illegal wildlife trade, as a part of a new drive to protect threatened species by the Traditional Medicine Association and TRAFFIC.
In April 2015, the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and TRAFFIC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) supporting the need for consumer behaviour changes and the increased role that corporate social responsibility (CSR) needs to play.
In June 2015, 30 members of the VCCI received guidance on how best to integrate wildlife protection within corporate social responsibility, in addition to confirming their commitment to wildlife protection and a zero-tolerance approach to the consumption of endangered species.
In June 2015, a bike ride by Da Nang businesses took place on the 40th anniversary of the South Liberation and National Reunification to promote awareness of the need for wildlife protection, an event organised by VCCI-Da Nang branch, TRAFFIC, Da Nang Investment Promotion Centre and FDI Da Nang Club.
In July 2015, a workshop, run jointly by the VCCI and TRAFFIC, trained 30 VCCI Officers in social marketing and CSR, in addition to creating an Action Plan to help deliver information about what was learnt to VCCI members across Viet Nam.
In China, our efforts have mainly been focussed on changing attitudes towards the consumption of elephant ivory. The business community has been the principal target audience, with a number of key events taking place including:
In March 2014, a jointly organised forum by TRAFFIC facilitated discussion between representatives from 30 Traditional Chinese Medicine companies on CSR and sustainability issues, with the hope of promoting sustainable harvesting and usage of medicinal plants.
In March 2014, experts from a variety of backgrounds collaborated at a meeting organised jointly by TRAFFIC, WWF and CWCA on how best to change consumer behaviour in order to reduce demand for illegal wildlife products.
In June 2014, representatives from leading traditional Chinese medicine companies renounced the use of endangered plants and animals at a meeting jointly hosted by TRAFFIC and the East China Normal University.
In June 2014, a new guide with the tagline ‘Good for business, great for wildlife worldwide’ was launched by TRAFFIC alongside 30 business executives to address the issues surrounding the practice of the corporate gifting of wildlife products and the need for actions to reduce this demand.
In October 2014, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between TRAFFIC and Alibaba Group to demonstrate the united front being presented against the trade in illegal wildlife.
In October 2014, nine leading online retail sites in China agreed not to provide promotional or trading opportunities for products linked to the illegal wildlife trade, in addition to appealing to the public to not engage in such a trade.
In January 2015, after WWF and TRAFFIC were invited to talk to the New Era Health Group’s senior representatives, the company introduced a zero-tolerance policy on using and gifting illegal and endangered wildlife products, the first State-owned Chinese company to do so.
In January 2015, a ‘Green and Elegant Collecting’ event held by TRAFFIC and Wen Wan Tian Xia (an e-commerce retailer of collectables) took place to highlight the need to reduce the consumption of threatened wildlife products and pave a road towards more ‘green’ forms of collecting.
In May 2015, TRAFFIC hosted a workshop in Addis Ababa for Chinese citizens and businesses based in Africa, to urge closer cooperation between Ethiopia and China and to highlight issues surrounding the illegal ivory trade in both countries.
In June 2015- a ‘green collecting’ campaign was launched in China, which suggests to artists that they ought to create artwork with greener, sustainably sourced materials, with the suggestion that the art should be valued for its cultural worth, rather than the material it is made of.