Consumers See Through “Green Wash”

McGraw Hill estimates the size of the annual “green building” market will be between $40 and $50 billion by the year 2010 and that doesn’t include “green” household products, cosmetics, and products that have magically been turned into “green” by sometimes no more than a change in advertising copy. This is fast becoming a huge market, and the problem is that there is no hard definition of green and therefore no way for consumers to distinguish the truly green product from hype or “green wash”.

It comes as no surprise then that consumers have become skeptical. A recent study recent study by Ipsos Reid found that a significant percentage of consumer’s view green labeling of a product as little more than a “marketing tactic”. The study found that:

“Seven in ten (70%) Americans either ‘strongly’ (12%) or ‘somewhat’ agree (58%) that ‘when companies call a product ‘green’ (meaning better for the environment), it is usually just a marketing tactic’. Canadians appear slightly less skeptical, with two thirds (64%) of Canadians either ‘strongly’ (10%) or ‘somewhat’ agreeing (54%). On the other hand, three in ten (30%) Americans ‘completely’ (4%) or ‘somewhat disagree’ (26%) that this is the case, with four in ten Canadians either ‘completely’ (4%) or ‘somewhat disagreeing’ (33%).”

More about the report ….

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