Lessons from the U.K.

15 09 2009

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“This research shows that consumer values do not change, even in a middle of a recession. They want companies to act and cut their carbon footprints, and provide transparent and accessible evidence of action.  We believe companies that take real action will seize the dual benefits of immediate cost savings and a stronger reputation, which is good for business.”

– Harry Morrison, Carbon Trust Standard

New research from the Carbon Trust Standard in the United Kingdom shows that consumers still want to buy green despite the current economic climate, with 62% of consumers saying environmental concerns influence their purchasing decisions—‘the same as a year ago’ and just over a quarter saying they influence them ‘even more’ than in 2008.

Other fun factoids from the research that marketers should be aware of:

  • 66% of U.K. consumers say it’s important to buy from environmentally responsible companies.
  • 14%  said they have voted with their feet by deciding not to buy from a company based on their environmental reputation
  • 25% decided not to buy from a company based on a company’s ethical reputation.
  • 70% of consumers do not feel confident that they can clearly identify which companies are environmentally responsible.
  • 59% are skeptical about the environmental claims companies make.
  • 44% of consumers would like more information on what companies are actually doing to be environmentally responsible.

So sustainable branding requires new forms of communications and embracing transparency and honesty in all facets of a brand presentation.  The research further demonstrated this quest for information that engaged consumers are using to understand whether or not a company is environmentally responsible.  The research indicated the most important criteria they rely on are what they read in the media (38%) and third party endorsement or accreditation (34%).

The least popular factor consumers use to judge whether a company is behaving in an environmentally responsible manner is what advertising tells them (6%).

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