except China, where packaged goods/beverages and personal care
are the most used categories, and in Brazil, where household products and personal care dominate. In all countries, consumers indicate that in the coming year they are less likely to buy green
packaged goods and beverages, grocery and household products.
According to the study, while personal care, grocery and household products are the industries with the greatest representation
among the top 10 brands list, consumers in the US indicate that
they intend to spend more on green technology, energy and automotive products or services in the next year.
The seventh annual Green Brands study polled more than 9,000
people in eight countries—including the US, UK, China, Brazil,
India, Germany, France and Australia—and was conducted by
WPP agencies, Cohn & Wolfe, Landor Associates and Penn Schoen
Berland Associates (PSB), as well as independent sustainability
strategy consulting firm Esty Environmental Partners.
“We’re seeing a shift in the ‘In Me, On Me, Around Me’ men-
tality when it comes to purchasing green products,” said Russ
Meyer, chief strategy officer of Landor Associates.“Consumers have
a good understanding of how green choices in personal care, food
and household products directly affect their families, and they are
now seeing benefits like cost savings that attract them to higher
cost items like cars and technology.”
Consistent with last year’s study, more than 60% of consumers
globally want to buy from environmentally responsible companies.
Respondents in all eight countries surveyed indicate that they are
willing to spend more on green products. In developed countries
such as the US and the UK, roughly 20% of those surveyed would
spend more than 10% extra on a green product.
In developing countries, however, consumers say that green
products have a higher inherent value, as 95% of Chinese consumers say they are willing to spend more on a product because it’s
green—with 55% of them willing to spend between 11-30% more.
Similarly 29% of Indian consumers and 48% of Brazilians say they
are willing to spend between 11-30% more on green products.
Packaging continues to be a matter of great concern for US consumers. According to the report, 71% of respondents said companies use too much material in product packaging—though only
LEADING US GREEN BRANDS
FOR THE FIRST TIME since the inception of the ImagePower Green Brands Study in 2006, the four brands perceived to be the
greenest are “born green” companies. The full list includes:
1. Seventh Generation 6. The Walt Disney Company
2. Whole Foods 7. S.C. Johnson
3. Tom’s of Maine 8. Dove
4. Burt’s Bees 9. Apple
5. Trader Joe’s 10. Starbucks, Microsoft (tied)
“When we analyzed the approach of the top 10 brands companies, using our Esty Environmental Scorecard, it was clear that the
winners achieve a product-value-information trifecta,” said Amy
Longsworth, partner at Esty Environmental Partners. “The top brands
offer clear price value through co-benefits: a great innovative product
that meets my functional needs plus green attributes that meet my
values needs. These companies also tend to have robust life-cycle insight and complete sustainability strategies across their value chains,
which enable them to draw from rich experience and data for their
34% of US consumers say they consciously purchase products that
use less packaging. Almost half of Americans feel that packaging
that can be recycled is more important than packaging made from
recycled or biodegradable materials.
Packaging also plays a critical role in communicating product
benefits to US consumers. More than 50% of Americans say on-pack information helps them understand a product’s“greenness.”
Additionally, 40% say that packaging is their primary source for information on environmental issues regarding products.
“Other than price, the two biggest influences on purchase decisions are on-package messaging and prior experience with the
product, both of which satisfy the consumer need to understand a
benefit beyond ‘saving the world,’”said Annie Longsworth, global
sustainability practice leader for Cohn & Wolfe. “It’s critical for
green brands to communicate the real and tangible benefits of their
products in addition to being green, which still feels like luxury to
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