September 9, 2011
Data point: Green behavior seen as a corporate, not consumer responsibility
A wide majority of consumers say companies should show a commitment to the environment, but far fewer are willing to pay more for eco-friendly products, according to Nielsen’s latest survey on environmental issues that polled around 25,000 people in 51 countries. As this infographic shows, 83 percent of respondents feel it’s important that companies have environmental programs, and 76 percent say raw materials influence their shopping decisions. But only about 2 in 10 consumers will spend more for greener products, with people in the Middle East and Africa most amenable to the added expense (one-third of those surveyed) and North Americans the least willing. (There’s also a widespread belief that green products are pricier, according to another global study we recently spotlighted.)
Among various sustainable practices, consumers see recycled packaging and energy-efficient products as the most helpful (83 percent say each of these have a positive impact on the environment); oddly, only 69 percent say products with little or no packaging have a positive impact. Fewer consumers are convinced of the beneficial effect of organic, local or fair trade products (64 percent, 59 percent and 51 percent, respectively). So while consumers do seem to care about a corporation’s green credentials, a significant number are unimpressed by a range of sustainable practices, leaving a lot of room for education and awareness efforts.