Friday, December 10, 2010

Consumers can´t be bothered about buying green

ABS data from 2008 showed that 4 out of 5 Australians "are ‘worried sick’ about the environment".

But 'worrying' is an emotion that does not lead to action. While 40% of consumers (Americans I assume) say they are willing to puchase green products, only 4% of consumers actally do when given the choice, according to Journal of Marketing, issue September 2010. 

Blue Marlin found that two thirds of Australian consumers think green products are over priced, and that nine out of ten consumers distrust green product claims. Proportion of consumers ‘Willing to pay 25% premium for green’ fell from 50% to 33% from 07 to 08, according to a study from Mobium.

In 2006 everyone went crazy about green issues and it happened over night. One day nobody cared - all we bothered about back then was to how to spend money on luxury - and then suddenly climate change was the most important issue in the world. Al Gore had something to do with that of course...

But now? I think it will be the companies that will need to take action, because people don´t see their contribution as making any difference. And in one study when people were asked what they would do to save the environment, buying was only one of 20 other things. It is hard to see how it can matter if I choose one option before the other. And a Gallup study showed recently that fewer Aussies believe climate change is caused by man (from 52 to 44% in 2 years), and more believe it´s a result of natural causes (21 to 31%). Let´s say Australian consumers have left the concern behind.

Large corporates can on the other hand, make a huge difference. For example, buildings are responsible for 23% of Australia´s total greenhouse gas emissions, and when constructing buildings in a green way, this can rapidly improve the situation.

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