Posts Tagged ‘green consumerism’
How heartening! A recent survey shows consumer interest in green products and expectations for businesses to protect the environment is on the rise!
Yep, you read right. According to a Green is Universal online survey of 1,647 U.S. adults, more than two-thirds (68%) of those surveyed say it’s worth paying more for a green product or service that is from a brand they trust. Green Is Universal is NBC/Universal’s initiative to raise environmental awareness and create positive change.
The fact that these types of “Green Consumer” surveys are popping up more and more frequently underscores our belief that doing good isn’t purely altruistic but holds real business and shareholder value – and that’s only going to increase if the direction in which these survey results are trending are a true indication.
The survey shot onto my radar yesterday during the L’Oreal Sustainable Intelligence Day in New York City (yes, I was sneaking a peek at my Blackberry). L’Oreal, by the way, is the real deal when it comes to walking the sustainability talk; while I was invited to give a presentation on the challenges and rewards of building a brand committed to sustainability, I’m fairly certain that I left the symposium with considerably more insight than I provided.
Just as I read the email which highlighted Green Is Universal’s study, one of the other speakers was referring to a 2008 study conducted by Deloitte for the Grocery Manufacturers Association. She quoted one of the findings of the study that sounded similar yet different to what I had just read on my Blackberry: “A significant minority of committed and proactive green shoppers are willing to pay more for green products, however the larger potential population of shoppers that lean towards green want price and performance parity for sustainable products because it is not their dominant purchase driver.”
Deloitte conducted a direct study of more than 6,000 people while they were shopping at 11 major retailers. 54% of the shoppers interviewed considered sustainability to be one of their decision making factors in purchasing products, and 95% of the shoppers said they “would buy green.” However, a mere 22% actually did buy a green product during their shopping experience.
Very interesting. 95% intent but only 22% action?
Both studies showcased findings which support the notion that consumers have a desire to purchase green products and that they even possess some degree of willingness to pay more for green. But what the GMA study showed was there is still a significant amount of consumers who actually aren’t willing to throw down a few more green singles for the sake of being green when they get to the cash register.
So where does that leave us? Well, it’s research — we could slice and dice it a million ways and derive multiple conclusions that take us in as many directions. But let’s not get caught up in that today. Today, let’s celebrate the fact that consumers are enlightened and responsible, that they want environmentally-thoughtful products and are willing to pay for them (and that some are even willing to pay more for them!).
And then after today, there’s tomorrow. Tomorrow, companies like L’Oreal, NBC Universal and Timberland need to soldier on so as to capitalize on the opportunity these consumers are giving us. Our messaging around our products and practices needs to be truthful and crystal clear and difference making – on many levels. Our product design and development needs to lead, inspire and drive innovations that support our commitment to sustainability. And companies like L’Oreal, NBC Universal and Timberland need to take this news from Green Is Universal to heart and encourage other for-profit companies to do the same.
In honor of Father’s Day … or for any special Earthkeeping guy in your life … check out these green goods to make the most of his day in the sun:
The TING “sling” is a handwoven hammock made of reclaimed and repurposed seatbelt webbing that otherwise would wind up in the waste stream.
Our Earthkeepers™ X-Band sandals feature organic canvas in the uppers and recycled rubber in the outsole and midsole. Burnished nubuck leather comes from a silver-rated tannery (one that has received a silver rating for its reduced energy use, reduced waste and quality water treatment).
Burt’s Bees chemical-free sunscreen provides UVA/UVB protection and helps keep skin hydrated without using chemical sunscreen actives like octinoxate and oxybenzone. Instead, titanium dioxide (a naturally-occurring mineral) creates a micro-fine barrier to reflect the sun’s harmful rays from Dad’s most sensitive spots.
When Father’s Day turns into night, Ikea’s Solig solar-powered lanterns keep the celebration going. These lights run on solar cells that transform sunlight into electricity, requiring no electrical connections and saving energy.
Earthkeepers love their moms and Mother Earth … here are a few gift ideas sure to please them both:
Finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t suggest one of our own 100% organic cotton t-shirts, printed with water-based inks.
Have another green gift idea you love? Share it with us.
Editor’s note: The following excerpt is from Diane MacEachern’s book, “Big Green Purse: Use Your Spending Power to Create a Cleaner, Greener World.” We like the book for its organized information (segemented by categories from personal-care products to appliances and electronics), product/company reviews and easy-to-follow suggestions for greener living … and although it targets women consumers and readers, we found most of the content equally guy-friendly and relevant.
From the moment we get up in the morning until the moment we go to bed, we depend on energy to maintain our busy schedules. Just flick a switch or push a button. Alarm clocks and coffeepots buzz to life. Toasters and TVs feed us body and (occasionally) brain. Hair dryers and dishwashers whir, computers and Cuisinarts stir.
It’s so easy we probably aren’t even aware that we’re using energy, let alone how it affects the planet. Take electricity. Creating kilowatts is the leading cause of industrial air pollution in the United States. Most of our electricity comes from coal, and it leaves its mark not only on our well-lit households, but also in the smog, soot, acid rain, particulate matter, and other air pollutants that cause asthma and have been linked to increased heart disease among women. When we shift to power-saving strategies at home, we’re standing up for cleaner air and our right to breathe it.
Abating electricity demand also helps moderate global warming. US households produce 21 percent of the country’s global-warming pollution. That’s more than the entire heat-trapping output of the United Kingdom, according to Phillips Electronics and Environmental Defense.