Shifts in Consumer Green Attitudes and Behaviors

Company Partners with GfK Roper Consulting on the 2011 Green
Gauge(r) U.S. Report

SC Johnson
and GfK Roper Consulting have released survey findings on
American consumer green attitudes and behaviors, painting a
compelling picture of the evolution of consumer interests and
actions over the last two decades.

The SC Johnson proprietary survey, which is part of the 20th
Anniversary Green Gauge(r) survey, examines how American consumers’
environmental knowledge affects their actions and

The results found that 75 percent of American consumers say they
feel good when they take steps to help the environment, a positive
sentiment that is reflected by their increased environmental

“It is empowering to see the dramatic shifts in behavior change
and to gain greater insight into tiers of consumer influence,” says
Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson.

“To move the needle even further, all parties - government,
businesses and consumers - need to continue to take responsibility
and action.  For SC Johnson, this means working hard to find
new ways to help families make greener choices.”

Survey data shows that influencing
behavior change is possible, and when compared to 1990, Americans
are now two times as likely to sort trash to separate garbage from
recyclable materials and buy products made from or packaged in
recycled materials.

Both financial incentives and penalties (both ranked at 49
percent) have a greater influence on consumers’ green behaviors
than pressure from family, friends and government - with
celebrities having the least reported impact at 7 percent.

The Environment and Today’s Realities

Individuals find they can “do a little” to help the environment
and make positive decisions rather than doing nothing or doing a
lot. The tempering of expectations may be contributed to today’s
economic reality.

While 48 percent of those surveyed are concerned for the
environment, they admit there are more important issues to be
addressed today. Forty one percent state economic security is their
number one concern, followed by environmental problems - up from 13
percentage points from pre-recession 2007.

While today’s economy is top of mind, when asked who should take
the lead in addressing environmental problems and issues, 38
percent ranked “individual Americans” and 29 percent ranked
“business and industry.”

Knowledge and Insight Matters

The survey findings show that Americans are both
increasingly knowledgeable about environmental impacts and crave
more information.

Individual behavior changes can be
attributed to increased knowledge and an understanding of what is
good and bad for the environment.

Typically, lack of environmental knowledge is one of the most
cited barriers to personal engagement with protecting the
environment. In 1990, 39 percent of American consumers surveyed
admitted that they were very confused about what’s good and what’s
bad for the environment; while in 2011, the number of people with
the same response dropped to 18 percent.

With increased knowledge comes increased action - by both
consumers and businesses. “GfK Roper’s partnership with SC Johnson
has allowed us to conduct a deeper analysis into the American
consumer’s understanding and green actions,” says Timothy Kenyon,
Director of the GfK Roper Green Gauge(r) Report, GfK Custom Research
North America.

In 1990, SC Johnson commissioned a pioneer study, The
Environment:  Public Attitudes and Individual Behavior
providing insight into the future of America’s commitment to
preserving and protecting the environment.

The study was executed by GfK Roper and was the precursor to the
Green Gauge(r) Report - the first, large-scale survey to measure both
green attitudes and behaviors. This year, once again SC Johnson
teamed up with GfK Roper and sponsored a select set of questions to
measure changes in consumer buying behaviors and their expectations
for Corporate America’s environmental behaviors.

target=”_blank”>Read the Gfk Roper/SC Johnson report in full on
the SC Johnson web sitesite

You can return to the main Market News page, or press the Back button on your browser.