A couple of news items I’ve come across lately regarding green consumers and the marketers that market to them:
First is a recent Forrestor Research study entitled “In Search of Green Technology Consumers” that find an increase in consumers the profess an active concern for the environment and a willingness to spend extra for green products from an environmentally conscious company. According to the research, 12% of Americans (25 million people) fall into this “bright green” category. That leaves 90 million (41%) that are concerned about the environmental, but not enough – at least yet – to spend extra for green products.
The remaining 47% don’t care or “believe in” environmental issues. Wal-Mart, shipped from China encased in lead – doesn’t matter. Cheaper is always better. It must be hard to breath with your head stuck in the sand all the time…
But I digress.
New Greenwashing Index for the New Year
The second item is a report from EnviroMedia announcing the launch of a new Greenwashing Index on Monday, January 7th. EnviroMedia encourages consumers to submit examples of print, online and TV ads, both “green” and “greenwash” for inclusion in their database.
The Federal Trade Commission will also begin reviewing their green marketing guidelines, starting with a forum on January 8th looking at how carbon offsets and renewable energy certificates are marketed.
Greenwashing isn’t just a concern here in the U.S. or Europe. 9 out of 10 delegates at the Bali Climate Conference believe some companies are “advertising products and services with environmental claims that could be considered false, unsubstantiated and/or unethical.”
With an increase in concern for environmental and sustainability issues from consumers, this is no time to dull the “bright green” luster of consumer awareness and activism.