Four out of five people say they are still buying green products and services—some more expensive than their conventional counterparts—despite the U.S. recession.
A new study commissioned by Green Seal and EnviroMedia Social Marketing and conducted by Opinion
Research Corporation reveals peoples’ opinions and behaviors about products that claim to be environmentally friendly.
Half of the 1,000 people surveyed say they are buying just as many green products as they were before the economic downturn; 19 percent say they are buying more green products; and 14 percent are buying fewer.
Other key findings in the 2009 National Green Buying Research report:
Reputation Matters More than Ads
• 21% of consumers say a product’s reputation is the biggest factor they weigh when making purchasing decisions. That was followed by word of mouth (19%), brand loyalty (15%), and green advertising (9%).
More “Green Claims” Education Needed
• About one in three consumers say they don’t know how to tell if green product claims are true.
• One in 10 say they blindly trust green product claims.
• Consumers who verify green claims do so by reading the packaging (24%) and turning to research (17%).
What They Say, What They Do
• Although 87% of people surveyed say they recycle, the Environmental Protection Agency reports that just 33% of waste is diverted from landfills.
• Six in 10 consumers say they look for minimally packaged goods.
• Fifty-eight percent say they buy green cleaning products.
• Just over three in 10 people (31%) say they buy green personal-care products.
"This research suggests that consumers are buying green products second only to participating in recycling,” said Arthur Weissman, Ph.D., President and CEO of Green Seal, an independent nonprofit product certification organization. "This increased consumer demand sends a signal to manufacturers to produce products that are truly green.”
“There’s a real opportunity for authentic green marketing, despite the tough economy,” said Valerie Davis,
Principal and CEO of Austin-based EnviroMedia. “This research proves people want to do what’s best for the environment, but it needs to be easy and accessible. Companies should be clear about the environmental benefits of their products and services and make sure what they claim in the TV ad is backed up consistently on product packaging and on the Web site.”
The margin of error on the 2009 National Green Buying Survey is +/- 3.2 percent.