Consumers Demand Greener Products, And Tech Companies Are Responding - InformationWeek

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5/3/2007
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Consumers Demand Greener Products, And Tech Companies Are Responding

As electronic and computer companies increasingly move toward greener products and recycling procedures, a 2007 ImagePower Green Brands Survey shows a shift in U.S. consumer attitudes.

More U.S. consumers are familiar with the concept of green products and how their actions affect the environment than they were last year, according to a new survey.

As electronic and computer companies increasingly move toward greener products and recycling procedures, a 2007 ImagePower Green Brands Survey shows a shift in U.S. consumer attitudes.

"Green is no longer an issue marginalized to fanatical environmentalists," pollsters with WWP's Landor Associates, Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates and Cohn & Wolfe, said in a prepared statement. "Nearly all Americans display green attitudes and behaviors versus a year ago."

PSB's Internet Surveys Group conducted the study this year and released results this week. It found that 40% of the U.S. population believes that concerns about global warming are increasing environmental awareness. Twenty percent blame themselves and others like them for environmental problems, according to the survey.

Eighty percent of consumers believe it is important to buy from green companies, and most responded that they would spend more on green products. The demographics of people who are most environmentally aware are different in the United States and the United Kingdom. American consumers most inclined to buy green products are younger, female, and earn around $50,000 annually. In the United Kingdom, the most environmentally friendly consumers are generally older, male, and highly educated.

A similar study conducted in 2006 found that most U.S. consumers were unfamiliar with the concept of green brands and products, as well as how their behaviors impacted the environment.

Russ Meyer, chief strategy officer of Landor Associates, said that consumers are changing behaviors to limit negative impacts on the environment. Even people who do not consider themselves "green" tend to equate "green" products with higher quality, according to the report.

"We found that being green is universal, but personal definitions of green tend to vary," Tom Agan, managing director of PSB, said in a prepared statement. "Consumers want and feel the need to exhibit green attitudes and behavior to one degree or another. Americans feel the need to take more action whether it's through limiting our eco-footprint, embracing companies and brands practicing sustainability and eco-friendly practices, or limiting our energy consumption."

Annie Longsworth, EVP and Managing Director of Cohn & Wolfe in San Francisco said that corporations should take note that consumers are drawn to companies incorporating smart environmental strategies.

"In the categories considered laggards in green by consumers, like online technology, travel, and petroleum, it is imperative that green practices are effectively communicated in order to build and retain customer loyalty," she said.

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