In recent years, the demand for green products and services has grown thanks to an increased level of environmental awareness. Consumers are becoming more cautious about buying green products from ethical companies. Maintaining an excellent environmental record has never been more important for businesses.
What Consumers Really Think
A survey carried out, almost 3 in 4 respondents said that they take concerns about the environment and sustainability into day-to-day life. When asked to what extent purchasing habits were influenced by environmental and sustainability issues, 3 in 5 said that they tried to purchase products with minimal packaging. In general, 42% of those questioned admitted to avoiding companies with poor ethical and environmental policies were possible.
The Pressure is on
Whilst many consumers want to buy from companies with a good environmental reputation, numerous people doubt the environmental credentials of some companies. Although most companies take their social responsibility seriously, there are many which have genuinely questionable environmental standards. This is based on hard evidence rather than public feeling. Many companies will attempt to hide a poor environmental record, and consumers are wise to this.
Distrust in businesses was reflected in the Eco Charge survey. 52% of those asked were sceptical about the testimonials flaunted by many companies. As a result, the enthusiasm for buying green may be suppressed by a perceived lack of commitment on the part of businesses. Consumers are clearly demanding more accountability and transparency from companies.
It is likely that in time, all companies will eventually become socially responsible in order to meet legal requirements and the demands of consumers. Until then, one of the best ways a consumer can ensure they’re buying genuinely green products from a socially responsible company, is through the use of ethical shopping guides and suppliers.
Making Informed Decisions
Ethical shopping guides aim to inform consumers about the social and environmental impacts of a product and the ethical records of the company behind it. Some guides also contain a Company Index which provides comparative ethical shopping rankings for many companies and brands.
By using these guides and websites, consumers can make informed purchasing decisions which ultimately have the power to prevent businesses overlooking their corporate and social responsibility.