Consumers willing to pay for green goods
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Three-quarters of Europeans say they are happy to spend more on products with good environmental credentials, but many are suspicious of greenwash
A survey of 25,500 EU citizens carried out for the European Commission reveals that 80% buy environmentally-friendly goods, and that 77% are willing to pay extra if they are confident in a product’s green credentials.
However, only half of those polled say they generally believe environmental claims about products, and 54% confirm they do not trust companies’ reports on their sustainability performance.
“We all want to see more green products on shelves, but this survey shows that most of us are confused by green claims and don’t trust them,” commented environment commissioner Janez Potočnik.
“That’s not good for consumers, and it is not rewarding those companies that are really making an effort.”
The survey results also confirm widespread consumer support for forcing firms to report on their impact on the environment. More than two-thirds (69%) of participants say that companies should be obliged to publish information on the environmental performance of both their products and their operations.
Only 13% believe that environmental reporting should remain voluntary.
The survey also quizzed citizens on their understanding of the environmental impacts of products and found that those in the UK were among the least knowledgeable.
Just 40% of consumers in the UK say they know about the significant impacts of the products they buy, a 10% fall on figures from the last survey in 2009 and 15% fewer than EU citizens on average.
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