The green marketplace obviously encompasses services as well as products, though these services are not used with the frequency of most products measured in Natural Marketing Institute‘s LOHAS Consumer Trends Database.
Only five percent of LOHAS consumers, the opinion leaders in the sustainability space, receive electricity through renewable power. The same percentage has used natural dry cleaning.
Financial services companies offer socially-responsible investments, and a small (and steady) portion of the LOHAS segment owns them. Interest in socially-responsible investing (SRI) is much higher than its current penetration level, indicating opportunity that can be tapped if consumer perceptions of higher fees and lower returns can be overcome.
New environmentally-focused services have emerged as the push toward “greening” has gained momentum. One trend is the growth of personal consultants who advise consumers on how to “green” their lifestyle. These businesses are capitalizing on consumers’ need for information on going green, and their limited time and interest in managing the details themselves. The rise of green restaurants, spas, and green cleaning services shows that companies have grasped the opportunity for eco-differentiation in the service industry.