70 Percent of Americans Say That “Green” Don’t Mean Beans

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An Ipsos Reid research study reports that seven out of 10 Americans believe that labeling products “green” is just a marketing tactic.  

Significantly, the study was conducted this spring, so some of those opinions may have changed. We’re still in the earliest stages of this “revolution” (if it is one) and attitudes are evolving quickly.

Consider Wal-Mart, which I wrote about earlier this month. Since then, the company has announced several new sustainability initiatives, including an green supplier program that aims to reduce carbon emissions. Yesterday, the retailer said it will stop selling bulky non-concentrated liquid detergents, saving millions of pounds of packaging.

As you’d expect—and consistent with the Ipsos study findings—many people still consider these announcements to be “greenwashing,” as demonstrated by this comment on an MSNBC.com message board:

This is a total PR move ahead of the big semi-annual EEI (Edison Electric Institute) conference in Indianapolis this weekend.

But a surprising number of comments reflect an evolving point of view:  

Saving on energy costs also helps the bottom line. But who cares why they do it, as long as it helps the green movement and our world.

That’s the win/win message that large corporations really should be communicating. It will have far more credibility to consumers than “help us save the planet.”

Photo by Smaku on Flickr.com, (cc) some rights reserved