Though global consumers care about the environment and are making definite attempts to be “green” in their daily habits and purchasing decisions, many remain unwilling to adopt environmentally friendly behaviors – such as using appliances less or foregoing plastic bags – if it means sacrificing too much convenience, according to a recent study conducted by Ipsos Marketing.
Nearly all of the respondents in the 18-country global study were likely to take or continue to take actions in the next six months to protect the environment, Ipsos said.
Top behaviors most and least likely to be taken:
- Reusing jars and containers (51%).
- Buying products with recyclable packaging (50%).
- Using dishcloths and sponges instead of paper towels (49%).
- Reducing use of paper plates and plastic cups (48%).
- Reducing use of single-serve plastic bottles (45%).
On the other hand, global consumers are least likely to curtail their use of dishwashers, washing machines and dryers or cut back on their usage of individual-size packaging and plastic bags. They also are lukewarm to the ideas of buying less bulky packaging if it is less convenient to use, looking for alternatives to cleaning products that use toxic chemicals, and using economy-size packaging.
These results indicate that balancing environmental friendliness and convenience will remain a challenging task for CPG manufacturers, who will need to understand exactly which categories and which products will lend themselves to the most behavior change and which consumers will be least likely to give up, Ipsos said.
“Consumers are more open to taking part in ‘green’ activities that save them money and are simple and easy,” said Amaury de Cond?, SVP, Ipsos Marketing, Global Consumer Goods. “However, they are less likely to be proactive about protecting the environment if it requires giving up major conveniences such as modern appliances or even minor conveniences such as individual-size food packages and plastic bags.
“Marketers must really explore their specific categories to ensure that the steps they are taking to develop innovative, environmentally friendly products and packaging will meet consumers’ thresholds for convenience and value,” de Cond? added.
About the survey: The study was conducted using the Ipsos Global @dvisor, an online survey of citizens around the world. Between October and November 2008, approximately 1,000 interviews were carried out in each of 18 countries: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great
Britain, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Turkey and the US. Where possible, Ipsos online panels were utilized – in cases where this was not possible, the survey was administered through partnership alliance panels.