Three-quarters of consumers think manufacturers have not taken enough steps to ensure that their production follows environmental procedures, according to a study from UL, and 70 percent feel companies do not conduct thorough testing before launching new products.
But the study also found that more than 90 percent of manufacturers are confident that they are ahead of the curve in delivering safety, reliability and sustainability.
Navigating the Product Mindset surveyed 1,200 manufacturers of consumer products and 1,200 consumers in the U.S., Germany, China and India, across industries in high tech, food, building materials, and household chemicals.
It found that Chinese and Indian consumers were more likely than their U.S. and German counterparts to think that companies were following adequate environmental procedures. In fact, the report said, the emerging markets appear to be “leapfrogging” over the developed countries in terms of adopting an environmental focus.
For example, Chinese and Indian manufacturers are most likely to say that environmental products are profitable. Over the four countries, 65 percent of manufacturers consider such products to be profitable or somewhat profitable.
On a sector-by-sector basis, those in the building materials and high-tech industries are more likely to report that environmental products are already profitable. Those in the food industry feel that this area holds the promise of profitability.
The poll of manufacturers found that nine percent think the design of sustainable products is their most important consideration impacting their ability to compete, and only two percent think environmentally friendly packaging is an important consideration for their ability to compete.
Consumers are more interested in knowing about the origin of a product’s parts and ingredients than they are in where a product is assembled, UL found. Fifty-six percent of consumers believe where fresh and processed food is assembled will become increasingly important over the next five years.
UL says it plans to conduct the study annually.