Comsumers, damn them, can be so frustrating. Boy, I feel like a politician talking abut voters!
A study, by Macquarie University identified a big discrrepancy between 2000 consumers‘ intent to purchase eco-friendly electronics products – including televisions, air-conditioners, washing machines and digital cameras – and their actual purchasing decisions.
Depressingly, while 75 % of consumers thought about environmentally freindly products before buying, only 20% actually purchased goods with eco credentials. Well-known sustainability champion Professor Tim Flannery, commented “Awareness of environmental issues is extremely high and our next challenge is to turn that into everyday action.”
Other key findings from the study included: * Eco features accounted for only between 11 to 20 per cent of purchase intent, depending on the type of product being considered. * Eco features were most valued by younger (18-24) and older consumers (over-55), while they were much less valued by those in the 33-44 age group (WAKE UP PEOPLE).
Panasonic estimates it is possible to reduce CO2 emissions from a household by 65 per cent in three-to-five years by increasing the energy efficiency of devices and reducing the power consumption of the entire house. You’d think that’d be enough to persuade people.
What’s realy concerning is the message this sends to manufacturers. Steve Rust, MD of Panasonic Australia, said the results were disheartening for companies who had invested in developing better environmentally performing products. “The single best thing we can do to encourage more businesses to adopt better environmental behaviour is to make it more commercially attractive. We simply have to work out what is stopping consumers from buying green and overcome it.”
Greenwashing (inaccurately describing products as green) has been blamed for consumer scepticism. More than 98% of supposedly “natural” products in the US were found in one study by TerraChoice, an environmental consulting firm, to be making potentially false or misleading claims. The study of nearly 4,000 consumer products discovered unverifiable information and blatant lies regarding their claim to be 100% natural, all natural, organic, or otherwise environmental friendly. The complete findings of the 2009 TerraChoice study can be found here. I’ll post more on Greenwashing later.
Having blogged here about the delicate balance between green and commercial interests, in case you can’t tell, I found the Australian study really frustrating.
- Green Conviction meets Market Opportunism? (marketingheart.wordpress.com)
- 2011 Eco Trend Report – Uncover the Environmental Trends Affecting Today’s Marketplace (trendhunter.com)