While 90 percent of manufacturers agree that the environment is becoming more important in their decision-making process, 40 percent of consumers say manufacturers are not doing enough in terms of environmentally friendly manufacturing procedures or products, a study by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) found.
UL says this shows the environment has continued to advance as a priority; however, consumers seem to doubt the intentions of manufacturers in their environmental commitments.
The Product Mindset also found that while 45 percent of consumers said they were willing to pay more for eco-friendly products in 2012, that number increased to 68 percent in 2013.
This is the third year UL has undertaken the study, which aims to better understand global manufacturer and consumer concerns and priorities around the products they make, sell, buy and use. It surveyed more than 1,500 manufacturers and an equal number of consumers in the US, Germany, Brazil, China and India on the primary and emerging drivers of their product decision making process such as quality, safety, environment transparency.
In looking at priorities relative to environmental products, UL found that 61 percent of manufacturers agree the impact to the environment is more important than the impact to human health. But the opposite is true for consumers – 61 percent of consumers say the impact on human health is more important than environmental impact.
One area of opportunity the study found was for manufacturers in gaining visibility into all aspects of the supply chain. While 84 percent of manufacturers agree stakeholders are demanding supply chain transparency, 42 percent of consumers believe that manufacturers do not provide sufficient transparency.
UL is also partnering with manufacturers to promote zero waste validation. In June, it announced that UL Environment, one of its business units, has developed working relationships with the Green Manufacturer Network in the US and Waste Cost Reduction Services in the UK to encourage companies to achieve its landfill waste diversion claim validation.
The announcement came less than a month after UL Environment and Waste Management partnered to offer WM’s customers a streamlined route to pursuing zero waste validation.