U.S. Consumers Increase ‘Green’ Purchases; But Are They Willing to Pay More?
PHILADELPHIA — U.S. consumers continue to go green, as 78 percent say they buy green products and services, a steady increase over 69 percent last year, according to the 5th Annual Tork Sustainability Study. The study was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of SCA, makers of the Tork® brand of away-from-home paper products and one of the world’s most sustainable and ethical companies.
Why people are buying green products appears to be shifting, as more consumers say they buy green products because they are better for their health. This year, 20 percent of consumers cited health reasons as why they bought green products, up from 14 percent last year. That percentage increases to 26 percent for adults between 18 and 44 years old. Those who say they buy green products because it’s better for the environment are virtually unchanged, at 47 percent this year, compared to 48 percent last year.
The sustainability survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive in May 2013 among 2,068 U.S. adults aged 18 and over.
The study also shows that Americans are split when it comes to paying more for products if they could be guaranteed of ethical and responsible manufacturing practices. According to the survey, 43 percent of Americans said they would pay more, while 44 percent said they would not.
The survey found that having children under the age of 18 in the household has a significant impact on consumer decisions. More adults with children in their household (78 percent) say they know how to determine if green claims and statements are true as compared to 72 percent without children. Also, adults with children in the house are significantly more likely to pay more for responsible and ethically sourced products (51 percent) than those without children (39 percent).
“People are paying more attention to health when choosing to buy green, and I believe that adults are more aware when children are in the house. It suggests this trend will continue as future consumers are being raised with these values,” said Mike Kapalko, Sustainability Marketing Manager for SCA’s North American away-from-home professional hygiene business. “While this survey shows Americans are split on the idea of paying more for ethically and responsibly manufactured products, a recent USA Today article stated that 9 of 10 Americans will boycott companies that engage in irresponsible business practices. It’s not a matter of paying more, but willingness to pay at all. Clearly there is a case for companies needing to be green, be good or be gone.”
The 5th Annual Tork Sustainability Study showcases SCA’s industry leadership and commitment to helping create a sustainable and ethical marketplace. SCA chose to release the results of the survey today to recognize World Environment Day, a United Nations observance of environmental issues. Survey results are available upon request.
Harris Interactive® fielded the 2013 study on behalf of SCA Tissue from May 7-9, via its Harris Poll QuickQuerySM online omnibus service, interviewing a nationwide sample of 2,068 U.S. adults aged 18 years and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Jeff Krakoff at Burson-Marsteller.
The Tork brand offers professional hygiene products and services to customers ranging from restaurants and healthcare facilities to offices, schools and industries. Products include dispensers, paper towels, toilet tissue, soap, napkins, and industrial and kitchen wipers. Through expertise in hygiene, functional design and sustainability, Tork has become a market leader. Tork is a global brand of SCA, and a committed partner to customers in over 80 countries. To keep up with the latest Tork news and innovations, please visit: torkusa.com or tork.ca.
In North America, SCA produces the Tork® line of dispensers, towels, tissue, soap, napkins and wipers used in commercial settings such as office buildings, restaurants, schools and healthcare facilities and the TENA® line of incontinence care products used by consumers at home and in healthcare facilities. TENA and Tork are the global leading brands in their categories. For more information visit www.sca.com/us.
Globally, SCA is a leading hygiene and forest products company. We develop and produce sustainable personal care, tissue and forest products. Sales are conducted in about 100 countries under many strong brands, including the leading global brands TENA and Tork, and many regional brands. As Europe’s largest private forest owner, we put great emphasis on sustainable forest management. SCA has about 36,000 employees. Sales in 2012 amounted to $13 billion. SCA was founded in 1929, has its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, and is listed on the NASDAQ OMX Stockholm stock exchange. More information at www.sca.com
SCA delivers sustainable solutions with added value for our customers from safe, resource efficient and environmentally sound sourcing, production and development. Recent third party accreditations for the SCA sustainability work include Dow Jones Sustainability Index 2012, the WWF Environmental Paper Company Index 2011, and Ethisphere – World’s most ethical companies 2013.
About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom and syndicated market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll® and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers proprietary solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and communications research. Harris possesses expertise in a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of syndicated offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing our client’s research investment. Serving clients in more than 215 countries and territories through our North American and European offices and a network of global partners, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us - and our clients - stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.