Dell, Apple, Microsoft, HP Perceived as U.S. Green Tech Leaders
Only a few brands have achieved global green recognition, according to GreenFactor, an ongoing (see July’s report here) global technology and environmental research initiative conducted by Strategic Oxygen and Cohn & Wolfe.
Consumer perception of brandsâ green leadership varies by region. For example, consumers in the U.S. have completely different ideas about green electronics than those in Japan. Dell, Apple, Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard are identified as green leaders in the U.S. Japanese consumers prefer Japanese companies and say Panasonic, Sharp, Sony and NEC are leading green.
To understand âperception vs. reality,â GreenFactor cross-tabulated its findings against Greenpeaceâs âGuide to Greener Electronicsâ which ranks the 18 top manufacturers of personal computers, mobile phones, TVs and games consoles according to their policies on toxic chemicals, recycling and climate change.
This cross-tabulation reveals that the brands most associated with green do not necessarily adhere to the most green practices as defined by Greenpeace, in the case of Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Apple and Microsoft. In contrast, some brands, like Samsung and Nokia, are not getting credit with consumers for their green realities.
So, how are consumers evaluating brands’ environmental initiatives?Â Information on a productâs packaging (33 percent) is twice as important as a productâs design (12 percent) to consumers assessing technology green-ness.
Brand web sites are twice as important (32 percent) to consumers as a source of information for a productâs green-ness than their friends or peers (13 percent).
Important to brandsâ prioritization of marketing resources, 54 percent of 25-34 year-olds say they are willing to pay more for green technology, while 23 percent of those 65 and older say a green electronics approach is not important to them.
- âSaving energyâ ranks first in importance to U.S. consumers considering green electronics (54 percent); âdesignâ (5 percent) is near the bottom of the list of attributes and âimageâ (4 percent) is dead last.
- The number one barrier to green sales of consumer electronics in the U.S. is âlack of awarenessâ (53 percent) â that is, brands are not adequately educating consumers on the energy savings and other environmentally-friendly aspects of their products. The number two barrier to purchase is âpriceâ (45 percent).
- Consumers say they rely heavily on information on a productâs âpackagingâ (33 percent), a âbrandâs web siteâ (32 percent), and âindependent brand comments onlineâ (28 percent) rather than seeking green product input from âfriends / peersâ (13 percent).
- Consumers still are reticent to pay premiums for green gadgets: 57 percent say they do not expect to pay premiums and are not willing to pay. Only 15 percent of consumers say they are expecting premiums and are willing to pay.
GreenFactorâs survey of IT decision makers.
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