How Good Is It to Be Green?

Over the past year or so, environmental issues have taken a backseat for some companies as economic concerns have taken precedence. But is that the same for countries all around the world and, perhaps more importantly, is that want consumers want? The fifth annual ImagePower Green Brands Survey, conducted between the end of February and end of March this year, reveals some interesting findings:

Consumers in the U.S. are more concerned about the economy than the environment, whereas in developing countries such as Brazil (72% concerned about the environment, 25% by the economy) and India (59% environment, 32% economy), the opposite is true.

  • Although 35% of those interviewed in the United States say they plan to spend more on green products, this figure has actually fallen 4% since 2009.
  • More than 60% of consumers around the world say they want to buy from environmentally responsible companies.
  • Consumers around the world expect green companies to engage in a broad set of actions, particularly reducing toxics, recycling and managing water.
  • When asked what they are looking for in a brand, being environmentally conscious features fairly highly – just behind a brand providing good value, being trustworthy, and caring about its customers.
  • Consumer obstacles to buying green vary by region:
    • Those in Australia, France, Germany, the U.K. and the U.S. claim cost to be the overriding issue
    • Those in Brazil and India believe there is a limited selection available to them
    • Chinese consumers are confused about green labeling

The online survey was conducted by Cohn & Wolfe, Landor Associates and Penn Schoen Berland in partnership with Esty Environmental Partners. Online interviews were conducted with 9,022 people in Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, the United Kingdom and the United States.

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