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Consumers Concerned about Green Issues: GfK Global Study

By Veronica C. Silva, 15-May-2013

The good news is that global consumers are aware of some green issues that may affect their lives. The bad news is that not many of them are aware of how to resolve these issues.

Consumers Concerned about Green Issues: GfK Global Study

The good news is that global consumers are aware of some green issues that may affect their lives. The bad news is that not many of them are aware of how to resolve these issues.

These were some of the findings revealed in GfK's recent global study of consumer trends, which involved respondents from eight countries from the Asia Pacific region.

GfK's fourth annual Green Gauge Global findings revealed that over seven in 10 consumers globally and in the Asia Pacific region are concerned about environmental pollution. However, only three in five, or 60 percent of respondents in the region said "they would do more for the environment but they don't know how."

The study involved 37,500 consumers worldwide aged 15 and above. Respondents from eight countries in the region were from Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand. Interestingly, the study showed that among the country participants in the region, respondents from emerging markets, such as China, have indicated more concern for pollution.

Emerging markets

Respondents from China and India have also expressed concern that they do not seem to know what to do about the green issues. Consumers who sounded more confident about resolving the issues were those from Taiwan and Australia.

The study also noted that Taiwanese respondents' environmental concerns are consistent with their behaviour, with 94 percent of Taiwanese recycling frequently.

But even if some consumers in the AP region are not quite sure how to address global warming, some consumers in the region are taking the lead in doing something about it, compared to their global counterparts.

The study also suggested that consumers from developing countries in the AP region are "more likely" to address the green issues, by conserving water and energy at home.

"The level of awareness, attitude and green behaviour is different across countries and largely depends on many factors, from infrastructure within the country, experience of natural disasters, efforts by the local government and the companies within countries and so forth," said Jodie Roberts, regional director, GfK Consumer Trends. "One particularly noteworthy observation is the fact that consumers globally are increasingly expecting corporations to do their part to address the environment."

Motivators

Among the respondents in the region, those from Indonesia, Taiwan and India showed strong sentiments that companies should take responsible action to help protect the environment. Region-wise, three-quarters of respondents take the same stand.

Roberts added that some of the reasons why some consumers want to "go green" are because they want to save money and to boost their social status - "a behaviour particularly apparent in Asia."

She added that on the part of the companies, going green is also an image booster.

"We live in an era where companies are evaluated not just on their products and services but also how socially responsible they are perceived to be, and this will have a great impact on their business performance going forward," said Roberts.

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