Buying Green despite the Credit Crunch
With the dawn of a troublesome economic era well and truly underway, news that consumers still want to buy green despite this, is a welcome surprise. New research from the Carbon Trust Standard (an independent company set up in 2001 by the Government in response to the threat of climate change) reveals that 62% of consumers say that environmental concerns influence their purchasing decisions ‘the same as a year ago’ and just over a quarter say they influence them ‘even more’ than in 2008. 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 …’.
With headlines shouting about the unemployment figure passing 2 million and the overall deteriorating state of the economy, it is interesting that people who now have to fight for their own survival are still concerned about being green. The research shows that a business’s green credentials have a significant impact on consumer buying choices. YouGov, which undertook the research on behalf of the Carbon Trust Standard, surveyed nearly 2,000 UK adults in late February 2009. 66% of the consumers said it was important to buy from environmentally responsible companies and 14% said they have voted with their feet by deciding not to buy from a company based on their environmental reputation.
Companies other than the Carbon Trust have too recognised what is on the consumers mind. For example, a Senior Partner at Lippincott (a consulting firm that deals with brand strategy and the development of corporate identities), Simon Glynn, said: ‘UK consumers are increasingly committed to tackling climate change, despite challenging economic times and do not see any competition between the two.’
Optimistically, the research suggests that the credit crunch has not called an abrupt end to ‘green’ era. Whilst many have had to tighten their belts during the economic uncertainty at present, Harry Morrison makes it clear that when the consumers do decide to purchase, they place great importance on choosing companies that, ‘… act and cut their carbon footprints’.