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Consumers May Not Be “Buying” Companies’ Environmental Claims

by Research & Insights

We're pleased to share our newest environmental research, the 2012 Cone Green Gap Trend Tracker, the third in a series of benchmark surveys examining American consumers' perceptions of environmental marketing. The good news: Americans continue to buy with the environment in mind. The bad news: consumers are not necessarily trusting companies' environmental claims.

The trend tracker revealed a majority of Americans (80%) don't believe companies are addressing all of their environmental impacts, and only 44 percent trust companies' green claims. This skepticism may even affect sales. In fact, as many as 77 percent would be willing to boycott if misled by an environmental claim.


Even as consumers express skepticism, they also voice their high expectations. They hold companies accountable for addressing the full environmental impact of a product's lifecycle, from the impacts associated with manufacturing the product (90%), to using it (88%), to disposing of it (89%). They are also asking companies to be thorough in their communications. Seventy-three percent of consumers want companies to provide more environmental information on the product packaging to help inform their shopping decisions, and the majority of consumers (71%) wish companies would do a better job helping them understand the environmental terms they use to talk about their products and services.

The implication is clear: the onus is on companies to bring consumers into the environmental conversation, and Americans are primed to do so if they feel they can trust what they're hearing.

For the complete findings from the 2012 Cone Green Gap Trend Tracker, including the types of environmental messages that resonate best with consumers and environmental purchase barriers and drivers, please visit our website.

We encourage your thoughts and comments. Continue the conversation on Twitter by using #WDYSF.




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Marion Dupont

"The bad news: consumers are not necessarily trusting companies' environmental claims."

I am not sure that this is only a bad news. As you explained a paragraph later, it is also a sign that consumers' expectations are increasing. Besides, I think it also means that they're less vulnerable to green washing, which is to me a good news!

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