How Green Is Your Company? Consumers Want To Know!

Another study reveals/confirms that consumers want to know more about the environmental activities of the companies they patronize. A new study from the Natural Marketing Institute reports that consumers are “interested in learning about what companies are doing to…”

  • Recycle – 62%
  • Reduce waste – 60%
  • Reduce air pollution – 59%
  • Reduce energy consumption – 56%
  • Use more recycled content on products -52%
  • Prevent global warming, reduce greenhouse gases – 51%
  • Use less packaging – 50%
  • Use materials from renewable sources – 49%
  • Increase use of renewable resources – 47%
  • Reduce water consumption – 44%

Now, I’ve never heard of the for-profit Natural Marketing Institute (and they weren’t particularly forthcoming when I called them) and so I cannot vouch for their methodology, but if accurate, and I have no reason to doubt it isn’t, this data reinforces something I have discussed before: sharing your green activities with your customers is key to building customer loyalty and creating a competitive advantage. To not do so is a missed opportunity. So, if you do any of the activities listed above, and I’m betting you do, let your customers know. They are interested.

Photo: Renato Cardoso at www.sxc.hu.

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About the Author

Jennifer Kaplan writes regularly about sustainable food and wine, the intersection of food and marketing and food politics for EatDrinkBetter.com and is the author of Greening Your Small Business (November 2009, Penguin Group (USA)). She was been named one of The 16 Women You Must Follow on Twitter for Green Business. She has four kids, a dog, a hamster and an MBA - find her on .
  • As a consumer, there is nothing I find more suspect then a one paragraph blurb from a corporation’s web site stating that we “do everything we can to be good stewards of the earth.” What exactly does that mean? What exactly are they doing? There needs to be much greater clarity and far more detail and eventually, individuals will demand it.

    As a new business owener, our environmental came first, company development second and we have gone even further by submitting ourselves to a GHG audit (green house gas) by a third party to determine where we stand right now as compared to our industry peers. After all, any company that strives to minimze their environmental impact must have a baseline to go by as a means of gauging their progress.

    Feel free to check us out at http://www.fashionandearth.com

  • Adrian, I totally agree. Accurate, transparent and detailed information is completely necessary in a company’s communications strategy. To do otherwise will lead to consumer doubt and erode their confidence. Thanks for weighing in.

  • It is great that consumers are becoming more interested in learning about companies’ efforts to operate more sustainably. Consumers’ interests are placing pressure on businesses to improve their operations and produce eco-friendly products. It was great to see the recent development made by HP to successfully deliver sustainable packaging that remains true to the brand and product. At Schawk, a big part of our business is packaging, and we’re working with several top brands to make sure they are developing the kind of sustainable packaging that goes hand-in-hand with their sustainable products.

    Schawk has found that package design is an increasingly critical factor in delivering a successful brand — with more than 70% of purchase decisions made today being made in-store. Package design influences the relationship a consumer has with a brand — but it’s just one aspect of it. Unless a brand can deliver a compelling and consistent brand experience across all touchpoints — not just the packaging — for a consumer, there is a good chance the brand will be less successful. If a company can integrate strategic, creative and operational excellence to deliver consistent and compelling brand experiences across mediums and geographic locations, it has achieved integrated brand point management.

    Schawk has created a new online community to facilitate discussion around the issues and ideas that lead to having quality brands that resonate with consumers. The community is free for anyone to join, but registration is required. To check it out, please visit http://www.brandsquare.com.

    Anyone have any thoughts about other brands — besides HP — that are particularly interesting in how they think about sustainability?

  • Wyatt

    Check out http://www.climatecounts.org for a “report card” of some popular companies.