Instagram Influencers Who Care about the Environment [Study]

Nick Baklanov

Marketing specialist at HypeAuditor. Connect on Linkedin.

Social media platforms such as Instagram are powerful technologies for social change since they allow people to connect with each other no matter where they live and reach a broader audience with their message. 

A picture is worth 1,000 data points, and Instagram images can have a compelling, persuasive impact that may inspire others to act on an important issue like climate change. 

We conducted a mixed-method analysis of Instagram influencers who cares about environmental topics. The research will provide you with interesting stats on social media influencers who post content about climate change, the top mentions made by the biggest environmental Instagrammers, and the stats on Greta Thunberg’s Instagram account.

We divided influencers into groups based on keywords in their profile description:

  • Climate change
  • Zero waste
  • Plastic-free living
  • Sustainable living

We also analyzed instagram account of Greta Thunberg individually.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  1. Of the four topics analyzed, zero waste and sustainable living are the most popular eco themes among environmental influencers on Instagram.
  2. All topics except for climate change are featured more often by female influencers, than by male influencers.
  3. The core audience of eco influencers are women between 18 and 34 years old.
  4. The USA and the UK have the largest number of eco influencers.
  5. Influencers from the climate change niche have the biggest average engagement rate (ER) among all eco influencers, but still, their engagement is lower than the worldwide average.
  6. Greta Thunberg is the most influential environmental activist in the world.

Climate Change Instagram Influencers

Climate Change is a critical issue and a defining moment of our time. From shifting weather patterns that threaten food production to rising sea levels that increase the risk of catastrophic flooding, the impacts of climate change are global in scope and unprecedented in scale. Without drastic action today, adapting to these impacts in the future will be more difficult and costly.

This is why influencers who post content about climate change are gaining traction and becoming more influential today.

Number of influencers: 209

Keywords in bio: climatechange, climate change, climate strike, climatecrisis, climateaction, climateactivism, climate activist.

Distribution of Climate Change Influencers by Tiers

We break down influencers into five main influencer tiers by the number of Instagram followers:

Mega-influencers & Celebrities (over 1M followers)
Macro-influencers (100K – 1M followers)
Micro-influencers (5K-20K followers)
Mid-tier influencers (20K-100K followers)
Nano-influencers (1K-5K followers)

Climate change influencers by tiers

50% of influencers in the climate change niche are Mid-tier influencers with followers between 5 and 20K.


Climate Change Influencer’s Profile: Age & Gender

The distribution of male and female climate change influencers
The distribution of age groups among climate change influencers

The core influencer group in climate change is men aged between 25 and 34 years old.


Climate Change Influencer’s Country

The distribution of countries where climate change influencers live

The majority of influencers in the climate change niche are from the United States (33%).



Climate Change Influencer’s Audience

The distribution of age groups among the audience of climate change influencers

The total audience of 209 climate change influencers is 3 933 902 followers.

The core audience is male and female between 18 and 34 years old.


Climate Change Influencer’s Engagement Rate

The engagement rate of climate change influencers by tiers

Engagement rate is the percentage of the audience who likes or comments on the posts (engages with the content).

On the graph, you can see a comparison of the average engagement rate of climate change social media influencers and the average ER worldwide. The ER of influencers with the number of followers between 5K and 20K is significantly higher than average worldwide. 

A high engagement rate shows that Instagram users actively engage with the influencers’ content.

Zero Waste Instagram Influencers

Zero waste is a set of principles focused on waste prevention that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused. The goal is not to dispose of garbage in landfills, incinerators, or the ocean.

Below are the stats for environmental influencers in this category.

Number of influencers: 690

Keywords in bio: zero waste, zerowaste, nowaste, 0waste, goingzerowaste, minimalwaste, zerowasteliving, lowwastelifestyle, zerowastelife, zeroemission.


 Distribution of Zero Waste Influencers by Tiers

The distribution of zero waste influencers by tiers

45.2% of influencers in the zero waste niche are Mid-tier influencers with followers between 5 and 20K and 42.5% of influencers are Micro-influencers with followers between 1K and 5K.


Zero Waste Influencer’s Profile: Age & Gender

The distribution of male and female zero waste influencers
The distribution of age groups among zero waste influencers

The core influencer group in the zero waste niche is women aged between 25 and 34 years old.


Zero Waste Influencer’s Country

The distribution of countries where zero waste influencers live

The majority of zero waste influencers are from the United States (18%).


Zero Waste Influencer’s Audience

The distribution of zero waste influencers' audience by age

The total audience of 690 zero waste influencers is 6 991 529 followers. The core audience is female between 18 and 34 years old.

 Zero Waste Influencer’s Engagement Rate

The engagement rate of zero waste influencers by tiers

Engagement rate is the percentage of the audience who likes or comments on the posts (engages with the content).

On the graph, you can see a comparison of the average engagement rate of zero waste influencers and the average ER worldwide. The ER of influencers with the number of followers between 20K and 100K and 100K-1M  is significantly higher than the average worldwide. 

A high engagement rate shows that Instagram users actively engage with the influencers’ content.

Top Mentions

Climate change influencers made 39 mentions of @climateaction

Climate change influencers made 35 mentions of @gretathunberg

Climate change influencers made 39 mentions of @fridaysforfuture


Plastic-Free Living Instagram Influencers

Plastic never biodegrades so every piece ever will never degrade! Massive quantities of disposable plastic pose a serious threat to our health and future generations.

Plastic pollution is one of the biggest problems we face as species. Petroleum-based plastics pollute the air, water, and food. The Plastic-Free Challenge is an effort to demonstrate to the world that we do not need to rely on disposable plastics. 

Number of influencers: 362

Keywords in bio: plasticfree, packagefree, plasticpollution, plasticpollutes, plasticalternative, nomoreplastic, low impact.


 Distribution of Plastic-Free Living Influencers by Tiers

The distribution of plastic-free living influencers by tiers

50.6% of influencers in the plastic-free living niche are Mid-tier influencers with followers between 5 and 20K.


Plastic-Free Living Influencer’s Profile: Age & Gender 

The distribution of male and female plastic-free living influencers
The distribution of age groups among plastic-free living influencers

The core influencer group in the plastic-free living niche is women aged between 25 and 34 years old.


Plastic-Free Living Influencer’s Country

The distribution of countries where plastic-free living influencer live

The majority of plastic-free living influencers are from the United States (20%), but there is also a large number of influencers from the United Kingdom (17%).

Plastic-Free Living Influencer’s Audience

The distribution of plastic-free living influencers' audience by age

The total audience of 362 plastic-free living influencers is 5 189 367  followers. The core audience is female between 18 and 34 years old.

Plastic-Free Living Influencer’s Engagement Rate

Engagement rate of plastic-free living influencers by tiers

Engagement rate is the percentage of the audience who likes or comments on the posts (engages with the content).

On the graph, you can see a comparison of the average engagement rate of plastic-free living influencers and the average ER worldwide.  The ER of influencers with the number of followers between 100K and 1M is higher than average worldwide. 

A high engagement rate shows that Instagram users actively engage with the influencers’ content.


Sustainable Living Instagram Influencers

Sustainable living is a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual’s or society’s use of the Earth’s natural resources and personal resources. Practitioners of sustainable living often attempt to reduce their carbon footprint by altering methods of transportation, energy consumption, and diet.

Below you’ll find information about sustainability influencers on Instagram.

Number of influencers: 709

Keywords in bio: sustainable living, ethicalfashion, sustainablefashion, consciousconsumer, sustainable fashion, sustainableliving, greenliving, consciousconsumer.


 Distribution of Sustainable Living Influencers by Tiers

The distribution of sustainable living influencers by tiers

48.9% of sustainable living influencers are Mid-tier influencers with followers between 5 and 20K.


Sustainable Living Influencer’s Profile: Age & Gender

The distribution of male and female sustainable living influencers

The distribution of age groups among sustainable living influencers

The core influencer group in the sustainable living niche is women aged between 25 and 34 years old.


 Sustainable Living Influencer’s Country

The distribution of countries where sustainable living influencers live


The majority of sustainable living influencers are from the United States (29%).


Sustainable Living Influencer’s Audience

The distribution of sustainable living influencers' audience by age

The total audience of 709 sustainable living influencers is 7 355 051 followers.

The core audience is female between 18 and 34 years old.

Sustainable Living Influencer’s Engagement Rate

Engagement rate of sustainable living influencers by tiers

Engagement rate is the percentage of the audience who likes or comments on the posts (engages with the content).

On the graph, you can see a comparison of the average engagement rate of sustainable living influencers and the average ER worldwide. The ER of influencers from this niche is lower than the ER worldwide.

A low engagement rate shows that Instagram users engage with the influencers’ content less than the worldwide average.


Greta Thunberg


Greta Thunberg (born 3 January 2003) is a Swedish teenage climate change activist whose campaigning has gained international recognition.

Keywords in bio: Climatestrike, fridayisforfuture.

Greta Thunber's folower growth from January to November, 2019
Growth of Greta Thunberg's Instagram account after her speech

After Greta Thunberg’s speech on Monday opened the United Nations Climate Action Summit, her Instagran account gained 3 260 029 new followers in one week. That made her Instagram account one of the fastest-growing accounts in the world.

Greta Thunberg’s Audience on Instagram

The distribution of male and female followers among Greta Thunberg's audience on Instagram

The total audience of Greta Thunberg’s account is 8.5M  followers.

The core audience is female between 18 and 34 years old.

Greta Thunmber's audience size on Instagram compared to the number of followers of other environmental influencers

Greta Thunberg has more followers on Instagram than all other environmental accounts combined in each eco niche.

That makes her the most influential environmental activist in the world.

Engagement rate of Greta Thunberg compared to that of other environmental influencers on Instagram

Greta Thunberg’s engagement rate on Instagram is 7.85%.

It is almost 3 times higher than the average ER of influencers from environmental niches and 8 times higher than the average worldwide ER of mega-influencers (1.01%).

The audience is highly engaged with Greta’s content. Her account can be an effective tool to drive attention to ecological problems that will be spread not only among audiences who are interested in climate change (where Greta has 35 mentions) but all over the world.

Check our other researches powered by HypeAuditor’s data like Instagram Posts with #Coronavirus Hashtag and the State of Influencer Marketing in Sweden.




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