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Brief Published: 9 Dec 2013

Eco-Friendly US Consumers


More than 50% of online US adults are “green” consumers, according to a new survey released last week by market research firm Forrester.

The survey, which questioned 4,500 adults in the US, found that more than half of consumers are “interested” or “very interested” in purchasing eco-friendly products or buying from brands with green initiatives. The survey also revealed that some of the most environmentally conscious consumers also are among the most prolific online purchasers.

“Green initiatives present a significant opportunity for retailers to gain market share by attracting and retaining high-value online green customers, to create brand advocates and to drive innovation,” said analyst Sucharita Mulpuru.

The survey identified distinct consumer groups based on participants' attitudes to ethical consumption. "Super-green" consumers – which make up 13% of US consumers – are the most environmentally conscious group. They are prolific online shoppers – averaging almost 40 online purchases each year, compared with a US average of 27. "Green" consumers, meanwhile, make up 38% of US consumers, and spend an average of $1,808 online annually.

As consumers become more aware of the impact their buying habits have on the environment, shrewd brands are exploring new ways of promoting their ecological credentials. Last month, fast-moving consumer goods brand Unilever launched Project Sunlight – the multinational's first consumer-facing sustainability campaign.

For more on how brands can appeal to consumers’ ethical consciousness, see the Stylus report Eco-Ethical-Sustainable, part of the Future of the Store Industry Trend.