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June 23, 2022
Consumers Will Pay More for Sustainable Products If They Can Find Them
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Even as they endure high inflation, 66% of consumers in the United States and 80% of young consumers ages 18 to 34, said they were willing to pay more for sustainable products versus less sustainable competitors, according to the second Business of Sustainability Index by GreenPrint, a PDI company.

Still, in a survey fielded March 7 to 8, 78% of consumers said they didn’t know how to identify environmentally friendly companies, despite wanting to buy from them. In trying to confirm a company’s environmental friendliness, 50% of survey respondents agreed that clear language on products is needed and 46% said third-party or independent source confirmation is important.

Among those who shopped for environmentally friendly products, 72% used labels or third-party certifications on product packaging to confirm if a product is environmentally friendly.

The study demonstrated a significant trust gap between American consumers and corporations when it comes to sustainability, GreenPrint noted. Only 38% of respondents said they believe corporations most or all of the time when they make claims of environmental friendliness, a noticeable drop from 47% in the company’s 2021 study.

Overall, 41% of survey respondents said corporations are doing a poor job at reducing their carbon footprint. When it comes to demonstrating an actionable commitment to becoming more environmentally friendly, 56% of respondents said airlines and fleet services are not doing well, followed by the energy/gas industry, cited by 48%.

Other survey findings include:

  • 75% of survey respondents expressed concern about the environmental impact of the products they buy.
  • 64% said they would be willing to pay more for gas if sustainability efforts offset the carbon emissions from their purchases; for respondents 18 to 34 the number jumps to 75%.
  • 69% said a product’s environmental friendliness is important to their purchase decisions.
  • 70% agreed that climate events from the past year, such as wildfires, floods, air quality dangers, extreme heat and drought, have made them more likely to purchase environmentally friendly products; 38% of the group didn’t buy eco-friendly products until recent climate events encouraged them to do so.
  • 45% believe it’s hard to maintain environmentally friendly buying habits.
  • 73% would sign up for a company’s voluntary rewards or loyalty program if it included elements dedicated to reducing the carbon footprint of their purchases.
  • 64% would like to have a credit card that automatically offsets a proportion of the environmental impact of their purchases.
  • 60% stated that they were more likely to buy stock in a company that is environmentally friendly versus one that is not.

“Americans are very clear,” said Pete Davis, CEO and co-founder of GreenPrint. “They want sustainable solutions and are willing to pay more for them, if only they knew how to find them. We are in the midst of a significant acceleration in public demand for sustainability, and companies that do not meet that demand will quickly fall behind their competitors, especially with young Americans.”

The GreenPrint index is based on an Xcelerant survey fielded from March 7 to March 8 among a demographically balanced and nationally representative sample of 1,062 U.S. adults 18 years of age and older, the company noted.

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