Promote green credentials, pick up new customers
Promote your green credentials to pick up new customers – that’s the message from the Carbon Trust, which argues that consumers have not been put off eco-friendly products by the recession.
A Carbon Trust survey of 2,000 adults in February this year found that 62% said that environmental concerns influenced their purchasing decisions just as much as they did in the same period last year. It also revealed that for a quarter of those surveyed the environment was an even more important factor in their buying decisions than it was in 2008.
“This research shows that consumer values do not change, even in a middle of a recession,” said Carbon Trust Standard head Harry Morrison. “They want businesses to act and cut their carbon footprints, and provide transparent and accessible evidence of action.
“We believe that firms that take real action will seize the dual benefits of immediate cost savings and a stronger reputation, which is good for business,” he added.
The survey also found that 70% of consumers said they were not confident about identifying which firms were environmentally responsible, while 59% were sceptical of some companies’ green claims.
According to the Carbon Trust, firms need to display their environmental credentials more clearly to win over consumers.
“Reading articles in the media alongside third party endorsement, such as the Carbon Trust Standard kite mark, are seen by consumers as the most reliable indicators of genuine environmental commitment,” said a Carbon Trust spokesman.
British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) senior policy adviser, Gareth Elliott, said that most small firms realise the value of being green, even during an economic downturn.
“Not only do a firm’s environmental credentials help attract consumers, but businesses can use certain ‘green initiatives’ to cut their overheads,” he said. “In a recent BCC survey, businesses revealed that they had made in excess of £1 billion in energy savings last year.”
For advice on greening your company take a look at the articles in our green business section.