One-third of Americans report heightened interest in the environment compared to a year ago, according to The 2007 Cone Consumer Environmental Survey. In addition, 93 percent of Americans believe companies have a responsibility to help preserve the environment.
The new study indicates a large number of Americans are now environmental “doers” themselves- in the past year, almost half (47 percent) have purchased environmentally-friendly products, more than one in five (21 percent) have donated to an environmental organization, and almost that many (18 percent) have advocated for environmental issues.
Americans are calling on companies to be proactive in their day-to-day operations when it comes to the environment. Concerns over packaging and transportation compete with pollution as an issue.
Solid majorities support meaningful company actions including:
- Reducing pollution through office and manufacturing operations- 71 percent
- Designing products/packaging with more environmentally-friendly contents and minimal packaging- 69 percent
- Distributing and transporting products more efficiently- 69 percent
- Communicating environmental efforts to consumers and employees so each group can support those efforts- 62 percent
- Donating money to environmental causes- 59 percent
- Lobbying for environmentally-friendly policies- 57 percent
The vast majority of Americans (91 percent) say they have a more positive image of a company when it is environmentally responsible. On the flip side, almost as many (85 percent) indicated they would consider switching to another company’s products or services because of a company’s negative corporate responsibility practices.
Advertising is the leading way Americans prefer companies communicate their social and environmental issues and practices (45 percent), but electronic communications, particularly via company Web sites, are growing in popularity. Communication by way of a company’s Web site now falls just behind advertising as the second leading outlet for social and environmental communication (41 percent).