Consumers still care, says Carbon Trust

Consumers still want to "buy green" despite the current economic climate, according to new research from the Carbon Trust.

During a YouGov survey of nearly 2,000 adults last February, 62% of consumers said environmental concerns influence their purchasing decisions "the same as a year ago" and just over a quarter said they influence them "even more" than in 2008.

The Carbon Trust said that the research shows that "a business's green credentials has a significant impact on consumer buying choices". Two-thirds (66%) of consumers said it was important to buy from environmentally responsible companies, with one in seven (14%) saying they had voted with their feet by deciding not to buy from a company because of a poor environmental reputation.

The research also revealed that consumers want to see clearer, more credible information on what companies are doing to reduce their environmental impact, 44% of consumers saying they would like more information on what companies are actually doing to be environmentally responsible.

Harry Morrison, head of the Carbon Trust Standard, said: "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."

Consumers look to a range of indicators to understand whether or not a company is environmentally responsible, but 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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