Sustainability
Kiwis would buy ‘green’ if they knew what it was

New Zealanders would buy more eco-friendly products if they had a greater understanding about sustainability and which brands were ‘green’, a recent Colmar Brunton survey showed.

Colmar Brunton’s annual ‘Better Business Better World’ survey showed that 88% of respondents said that sustainability influenced their purchasing decisions but 20% didn’t know what ‘sustainability’ meant and a huge 72% couldn’t think of any brands that are leaders in sustainability.

But despite our clean green intentions, price still matters most. The cost of living was the top concern keeping Kiwis up at night (up from 3rd place in 2010), and less than 5% would actually pay more for the sustainable option. However, the vast majority of us (84%) would choose it if it cost the same.
Jacqueline Ireland, managing director of Colmar Brunton said that businesses have a lot to learn from these survey results.
“There is an opportunity here for businesses to reach more Kiwis and help them make greener purchasing decisions if they can promote their green credentials in a simple but innovative way,” she said.
The ‘Better Business Better World 2011’ survey is the third of an ongoing trend monitor around sustainable issues from a consumer’s point of view. It investigates consumers’ perceptions of sustainability and how it is impacting on people’s behaviours and choices.

It seeks the answers to important questions such as:

  • What factors impact consumers’ choice of everyday brands or products at the supermarket
  • How much influence sustainable issues have on consumers’ purchases
  • How committed we are to a green and sustainable lifestyle
  • What’s keeping us up at night

But the results also show that being ‘green’ on its own is not enough.

“Businesses need to make it easy, personal, rewarding and fun for consumers, and keep making it better. Innovation and design, or performance, are still key,” said Jacqueline Ireland.

The survey also showed that there is a gap in consumers’ attitudes and their behaviour. For example, 42% believe it’s important to not use plastic supermarket bags but only 28% refrain from doing so. Similarly, 21% believe it’s important to use public transport but only 8% actually do.
The top three concerns keeping Kiwis up at night have remained the same for three years running, but ‘cost of living’ has shot from third to first place, and ‘violence in society’ has slipped down to second, followed by ‘crime levels’ which was third. ‘Stability of global financial system’ has shot up six places to become Kiwis’ eighth biggest concern.
The ‘Better Business Better World’ survey captured 1000 people online, representing a national spread of age, gender and region.

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