The Value of Environmental and Economic Sustainability for very young people – SURVEY


The Museum of Saving, together with Episteme, promoted the research “The Value of Environmental and Economic Sustainability for very young people” in order to investigate how children aged 13 to 18 deal with the topic of sustainability in a broad sense. This is an in-depth study that is complementary to the educational activity of the S.A.V.E. project that the Museum has designed and has been proposing for three years together with the EIB Institute.

The concept of sustainability is often associated with a predominantly negative and catastrophist vision of the environmental or economic issue. This contrasts with a more positive vision, oriented towards the opportunities offered by a sustainable approach to the use of scarce resources.

In particular, the research analyzes the impact that individual factors (such as character), cultural factors (such as family context) and external factors (such as school, friends and the media) have on children’s awareness of these issues.

400 interviews were collected using the CAWI (Computer Assisted Web Interviewing) technique aimed at a sample of 13-18 year old representative of the reference universe by gender, age and geographical area of residence. The field took place from 5 to 17 February 2021.

The survey was carried out from February 5 to 17, 2021.


Research insights

– Young Italians show a surprising and unique maturity and orientation to the future. A generation that manages to connect principles and beliefs on the one hand and daily action on the other.

– Environmental Awareness and Economic Awareness are intimately connected: those who pay great attention to natural resources manage money with equal care.

– When it comes to sustainability the differences between girls and boys blur. Attention to the environment and money cuts across gender. However, on other aspects the survey still shows the existence of different educational conditioning and pressures for boys and girls.

– The analysis of personality traits shows the existence of a positive relationship between character stability and attention to the environment and money management. The three large families identified, the Restless, the Curious and the Conscientious, are in fact characterized by a different adherence to sustainability issues.

– Parents still have a role of primary importance for 13-18 year old Italians. In fact, they are taken as a model by a very large majority of youngster both when it comes to environmental sustainability and economic sustainability.


Download here the results of the research “The Value of Environmental and Economic Sustainability for very young people” and the “Key Messages“.