Consumer Interest in Sustainability Remains Consistent Through Downturn

A national Capstrat-Public Policy Polling survey found that 59 percent of consumers consider products’ environmental sustainability to be very important in their buying decisions. And 56 percent noted they would pay “a little” to “significantly” more for a product that was environmentally friendly.

Yet nearly half of respondents (47 percent) said sustainability and environmental friendliness are “rarely” or “never” mentioned in their employers’ communications. Only 20 percent of respondents said sustainability was “frequently” mentioned.

Are companies missing an opportunity to promote the “greenness” of their products and services?

These survey results are in line with a 2009 Capstrat poll in which 54 percent of respondents cited sustainability as “very important” in their buying decisions and fifty-nine percent said they would pay “a little” to “significantly” more for a product that was environmentally friendly. In that poll, 46 percent of respondents said sustainability was “rarely” or “never” mentioned in their companies’ communications.

“Poll results show that consumers’ commitment to sustainability is holding strong,” says Capstrat CEO Ken Eudy. ”Companies with a genuine commitment to the environment are missing a huge opportunity to promote this orientation – even with their own employees. Corporations could and should do more to communicate what they are doing to protect the environment.”

I am willing to pay “a little” or “significantly” more for a product that is environmentally friendly54%56%+2%
Sustainability is “rarely” or “never” mentioned in employer communications46%47%+1%

To view complete survey results, visit Other notable findings include:

Millennials more likely to pay for green

Nineteen percent of Millennials are willing to pay “significantly more” for a green product, more than any other age cohort (results were four percent for ages 30-45, seven percent for ages 46-65 and five percent among those older than 65.

Men less likely to pay for green

Fifty-two percent of men say they will pay “no more” for a green product — compared to 32 percent of women.

Democrats twice as green

Environmental friendliness is more important to Democrat’s — 11 percent of respondents identifying themselves as Democrats called sustainability the most important factor in purchasing decisions compared to only four percent of Republicans

About Public Policy Polling

Public Policy Polling has conducted regional and national surveys since 1991. The firm employs Interactive Voice Response or IVR methodology. Just as polling evolved from mail-in surveys and door-to-door interviewers to live telephone interviewers, the polling industry is evolving into automated telephone surveys (IVR) and internet polling. An analysis by the Wall Street Journal of swing state polls in the 2008 presidential campaign concluded that Public Policy Polling was among the two most accurate survey firms.

About Capstrat

Capstrat, a communications agency based in Raleigh, N.C., solves the complex issues that health care, technology, energy/infrastructure and financial organizations face at critical moments. We blend marketing communications, interactive communications, public relations and public affairs to tell stories with power and persuasion.