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consumer behavior survey yale

Firms’ Environmental Practices Influence Consumer Purchases

consumer behavior survey yaleHalf of all Americans consider the environmental impact of products and services when deciding whether or not to make a purchase, according to a national survey.

The Americans’ Actions to Limit Global Warming report, which is based on findings from a national survey of 1,045 adults, investigated four types of climate and energy-related behavior: consumer, civic, household and transportation, and communication. The report was produced by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center on Climate Change Communication.

A product’s recycability, harm to the environment, use of few resource and contribution to global warming are all important attributes considered by Americans before making a purchase, the report says. The report also found a link between a company’s environmental practices and consumers’ willingness to reward or punish that business.

Three in 10 Americans have rewarded companies in the past 12 months for taking steps to reduce global warming by buying their products, a sign that consumer purchases are somewhat influenced by environmental practices, the report says. Alternatively, one in five Americans surveyed say they have punished companies for opposing steps to reduce climate change by not purchasing their products.

The survey also found a demand for locally grown or produced food and energy efficient products.

Eight in 10 American surveyed said they intend to buy locally grown or produced food and six in 10 intend to buy organic food in the next 12 months, the report says.

About half of Americans surveyed deliberately bought an energy efficient kitchen appliance, the report says. At least one in three intentionally bought an energy-efficient home air conditioner, home water heater or a car that averages 30 miles or more per gallon.

A global survey released last month found consumers have clear and specific expectations for the role companies should play in addressing social and environmental issues with 93 percent wanting to see more of the products and services they use support corporate social responsibility efforts.


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