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02/09/2009 07:23 AM     print story email story  

Consumers Buying Green Despite Battered Economy - Survey

SustainableBusiness.com News

Four out of five people say they are still buying green products and services today—which sometimes cost more—even in the midst of a U.S. recession, according to a new survey.

Half of the 1,000 people surveyed say they are buying just as many green products now as before the economic downturn, while 19% say they are buying more green products. 14% say they are buying fewer environmentally green products.

The new study was commissioned by Green Seal and EnviroMedia Social Marketing also found:

--Brand Reputation Matters More Than Ads: 21% of consumers say a product’s reputation is the biggest factor they weigh when making purchasing decisions followed by word of mouth (19%) and brand loyalty (15%). Just 9% say green advertising is their primary influencer.

--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 consumers blindly trusts green product claims. Consumers are verifying green claims by reading the packaging (24%) and turning to research (going online, reading studies; 17%).

"This research suggests that consumers are buying green products second only to participating in recycling,” said Arthur Weissman, Ph.D., Green Seal's President and CEO. "This increased consumer demand sends a signal to manufacturers to produce products that are truly green.”

The study was released last week from the first Greenwashing Forum in Portland, Oregon.

The Greenwashing Index was launched in January 2008 by EnviroMedia and the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. On the site, consumers post and rate ads to “out” greenwashers and showcase companies that employ sound environmental marketing efforts. (Link to the website below.)

“There’s a real opportunity for authentic green marketing, despite the tough economy,” said Valerie Davis, EnviroMedia Principal and CEO. “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.”

Website: http://www.Greenwashingindex.com



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