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Survey Finds Consumers Still Buying ‘Green’ Products

U.S. consumers are buying the same or more environmentally responsible products, regardless of region, age, gender or state of the economy, according to a second annual survey commissioned by SCA and conducted by Harris Interactive.

The survey finds that 67 percent of U.S. adults who consider themselves buyers of green products have maintained their level of green purchases. Twenty-five percent have increased their green buying, while eight percent said their green purchases had declined in 2010 as a result of the economy.

Another key finding shows that 62 percent of adults are either equally as likely or more likely to visit a business that focused on being green, regardless of distance or effort required.

While previous studies have shown that most companies promote green efforts publicly via corporate websites, the SCA survey finds that Website promotion is one of the least preferred ways for consumers to learn about corporate green initiatives.

Case-in-point: Twenty-eight percent of adults believe designations on menus or store shelves for greener choices are the best places for businesses or restaurants to communicate their green commitment. Nineteen percent feel the best way to communicate this commitment is via flyers or visible posters, while nine percent look at a company’s Website.

The survey also reveals uncertainty about how to verify green claims such as “environmentally friendly” or “organic.”

When asked what is the most reliable way to determine whether or not a green claim or statement is true, 28 percent said they are not sure, followed by 23 percent who said they would trust their own research such as looking up information or trying the product or service themselves. Twenty-one percent said they would rely on independent third-party certifications.

A key finding of the 2008 survey found that Americans were willing to pay more for green products and services.

This year’s survey of 2,014 U.S. adults 18 and older was conducted online, April 28-30, 2010.

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3 thoughts on “Survey Finds Consumers Still Buying ‘Green’ Products

  1. Interesting.

    ‘uncertainty about how to verify green claims such as “environmentally friendly” or “organic.”’ Or, possibly, such as ‘compostable’ or ‘recyclable’ (with the potential often not borne out by local delivery).

    Have to say, designed-in reuse looks a pretty safe bet if the consumers getting a clear eco-message is desired. Especially one that also delivers a tangible end-benefit.

  2. Of course what people say they are doing and what they are actually doing are two very different things.

    Also will Green products really save us when people start driving and flying at their pre-recession levels? Green products tend to be just a nice bit of Greenwash for the Middle-Class.

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