New York, NY, 22.09.2020

78% of US consumers expect brands to take environmentally responsible actions

New research from GfK Consumer Life shows that the pandemic has not dampened enthusiasm for “green” activism, with consumers expecting brands and government alike to take real action toward preserving the environment. 

In its latest Green Gauge® report, GfK Consumer Life reveals that 78% of US consumers say it is important for companies to be environmentally responsible, while 44% believe that government – not individuals – should address environmental problems. The study shows that Baby Boomers and women are more likely to think that companies should step up, while Millennials are most inclined to feel that the government is more responsible than people.

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Green Gauge® delivers an in-depth look into sustainability-related consumer trends, attitudes, and behaviors in 25 countries. Now in its 30th year, this syndicated study gives leading global marketers and sustainability professionals the accurate insights they need to make essential brand and product decisions.

Overall, Millennials (ages 22 to 39) show the greatest enthusiasm for “green” action, with 41% saying they take the environment into consideration in their purchase decisions all or most of the time. That is 10 points above the US average (31%) and represents a 13-point jump over 2010 for the 22-to-39 age group.

In addition, Millennials are most likely to choose more efficient energy sources for their homes and cars, with 41% reporting that they do so all or most of the time. That beats the US average by 11 points and marks an 18-point jump over 2010 for the same age group.

Barriers to green behavior are eroding

The new research also reveals that many traditional barriers to green behavior have less power over consumers today. For example, the proportion who say that environmentally friendly products are often too expensive has dropped by 10 points since 2010, from 67% to 57%.

Additionally, the proportion of US consumers who feel that environmental issues should take a back seat to economic security and well-being has fallen 13 points versus 2010, from 54% to 41%. And consumers today are less likely to report that environmentally friendly products do not work as well – 29% in 2020, versus 34% ten years ago.

In the new study, only one in four (24%) consumers fall into the Green Gauge segment known as “Jaded” (i.e., deeply skeptical) – a major decline from 38% in 2010. At the same time, those who fall into the Glamour Green segment – people who are proud of their eco-friendly behaviors – has risen 10 points, from 20% to 30%.

The Green Gauge study was conducted in 25 countries in the spring of 2020 among more than 36,000 respondents ages 15 and over.

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