A recent survey found over three-quarters of people will stop buying a product if the company behind it exaggerates environmental claims.
The 2012 Cone Green Gap Trend Tracker also reveals a solid demand from Americans for companies to green up their act.
According to the survey report, American consumers expect companies to address the full environmental impact of a product’s lifecycle, including:
– impacts associated with manufacturing the product (90%)
– use of the product (88%)
– disposal of the product (89%)
An interesting point to emerge from the survey was a whopping 42% said the environmental impact of disposing of a product – whether it can be recycled, composted, returned etc. – is the most likely factor to influence their purchases.
Additionally, 73 percent of those surveyed want companies to include more environmental information on the packaging of a product so they can make better-informed purchase decisions; but for that information to be in easily-understood language.
8% of Americans said they consider the environment every time they shop, while 25% say they consider the planet regularly in shopping.
The report states 42% of Americans have been discouraged from buying green products in the belief they cost more than “traditional” ones. Other issues that stopped those participating in the survey from buying green products include:
– A lack of trust in the environmental benefits claimed – 27%
– The product is difficult to find – 23%
– The product was unattractive – 16%
Cost is understandable given the tough times many people are experiencing; but if a green product can save money in the long run – for example, like a home solar power system can – then 90% of consumers say this will motivate them to buy it.
While appearing quite demanding when it comes to green products, the American consumer is also generally realistic – and this is another reason why companies shouldn’t amp up their green claims (aka ‘greenwashing‘). 75% said it is fine if a company is not environmentally perfect, as long as it is honest about its environmental efforts.
The 2012 Cone Green Gap Trend Tracker was based on the findings of an online survey conducted among a demographically representative sample of 1,019 USA adults.
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