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  • Writer's pictureHearst Pittsburgh

Marketing in a Greener Pittsburgh: Insights for Advertisers

Pittsburgh's rich history is closely tied to the rise and evolution of heavy industry. From steel mills that once dominated the skyline to the vibrant cultural landscape that now defines the city, Pittsburgh's journey mirrors the broader narrative of environmental stewardship and sustainability:

In a place like this, Earth Day celebrations holds special significance, honoring of the region's natural assets and the collaborative efforts of businesses, organizations, and citizens to preserve them. It's a time for reflection, action, and advocacy—a moment to celebrate the strides we've taken towards a greener, more sustainable future, while also acknowledging the work that lies ahead.

Drawing inspiration from the shifts that had to take place among the people of Pittsburgh to imagine and create a greener city, we are delving into the opinions and attitudes related to sustainability and environmentalism.

How concerned are you right now about climate change and the environment?

Pittsburgh results, last 365 days:

Starting with the basics, we wanted to understand if climate change and environmentalism are top-of-mind subjects locally. While 71% of respondents in the Pittsburgh metro express any level of concern, nearly 1 in 3 respondents aren't concerned at all.

We wondered, how does that change based on other demographics, like age group, household income, and political identity for example:

Pittsburgh results, last 365 days, by broad age group:

Pittsburgh results, last 365 days, by HHI:

Pittsburgh results, last 365 days, by political party identification:

As we can see above, a person's political leaning seems to have the most significant influence their stance on climate change. Generally, those on the left often prioritize environmental protection and support strong policies to address climate change, while views on the right can vary, with some accepting the science but preferring market-based solutions and others denying or downplaying the issue. However, as we can see above, there is no hard and fast rule; concern for the environment and support for climate action can be found across the political spectrum.

We also wanted to explore how climate change concerns have evolved over time, pulling CivicScience's survey results from 2013:

Pittsburgh results, ten years ago:

While the environment and climate were certainly on the general public of Pittsburgh's minds in 2013, the numbers have shifted towards an increased level of concern.

With a more thorough understanding of the attitudes around climate change, we can turn our attention to behaviors with our next set of questions.

Do you try to adjust your lifestyle to help the environment?

Pittsburgh results, this year:

Pittsburgh results, ten years ago:

Culminating data from our surveys spanning from 2013 to the last 365 days reveals an increasing number of individuals are actively engaging in efforts to protect the environment. The data reinforces a growing commitment to environmental stewardship within our community.

The next three questions explore those lifestyle changes more specifically:

Which of the following actions have you personally done in the last month to help the environment / decrease your carbon footprint?

How, if at all, do you shop sustainably?

Do you buy food that was produced using sustainable practices, such as farming techniques that protect the environment, public health, and animal welfare?

Shifting back to attitudes, we will round out this report with a look to the future:

How much do you agree or disagree with the following statement? “I feel optimistic about our ability to successfully combat climate change.”

Time view:

Takeaways for Marketers from this Data:

  1. Understanding Audience Segmentation: Marketers can utilize demographic insights from the survey data to tailor messaging and campaigns effectively. For instance, recognizing the correlation between political identity and climate change concern allows marketers to craft targeted communications that resonate with specific audience segments. By understanding the nuances of their target demographics, marketers can better address concerns and promote sustainable initiatives in alignment with their audience's values and beliefs.

  2. Promoting Sustainable Practices: With a growing number of individuals actively seeking to adjust their lifestyles to help the environment, there is an opportunity for marketers to promote sustainable products and services. By highlighting the environmental benefits of their offerings and emphasizing sustainable practices in their branding, marketers can appeal to eco-conscious consumers and drive engagement and loyalty.


As advertisers seeking to effectively connect with Pittsburgh's diverse consumer base, insights like these can inform marketing strategies that resonate with local attitudes and decision-making.

The data reveals a notable shift towards increased environmental awareness and action among Pittsburgh residents, with a majority expressing concern about climate change and a growing number actively engaging in sustainable practices. This presents advertisers with a unique opportunity to align their messaging and campaigns with the values and priorities of the community.

By recognizing the influence of demographic factors such as age, income, and political affiliation on attitudes towards environmental issues, advertisers can tailor their marketing efforts to specific audience segments, maximizing relevance and impact. Whether promoting eco-friendly products or highlighting sustainable initiatives, there is a clear appetite among Pittsburgh consumers for brands that prioritize environmental responsibility.

As we commemorate Earth Day and celebrate the strides made towards a greener future, the local business community has a vital role to play in driving continued progress. By integrating sustainability into their brand stories and engaging with consumers in meaningful ways, advertisers can not only foster loyalty but also contribute to positive social and environmental change in the Pittsburgh community.

In harnessing the power of data-driven insights and purpose-driven marketing, advertisers have the opportunity to not only connect with Pittsburgh consumers but also make a meaningful impact on the journey towards a more sustainable future for all.

WTAE Advertising's consumer research capabilities extend far beyond environmental attitudes. We track and measure Pittsburgh metro consumers on a wide range of topics to help advertisers better understand and influence them. Let's uncover the data-driven strategies that will drive success for your brand.


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