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Certifications matter more than ever and brands should be promoting them

GreenBiz Group

October 6, 2020

Author: Suzanne Shelton

Certifications matter more than ever and brands should be promoting them
Suzanne Shelton
Tue, 10/06/2020 - 00:30

I’ve written quite a bit lately about how Americans are experiencing a "Maslow moment" right now. Concerns about the environment are taking a backseat to worries about basic needs — our health and our economy (at both the macro and personal level). But that doesn’t mean we’re not at all worried about the environment.

According to our latest polling of Americans in May, 43 percent of us are more concerned about climate change, 41 percent of us are more concerned about plastics in the ocean and 39 percent of us are more concerned about deforestation and environmental destruction than we were a year ago.

While the percentage of Americans worried about these issues has gone down by a quarter to a third for the moment, the remaining 40 percent of us who are worrying about these issues are worrying more intensely.

So what are we doing with that worry? At Shelton Group, we’ve seen for several years that Americans are increasingly working to manage their environmental concerns via their purchases. About a quarter of Americans, in fact, can name a brand — unaided — that they’ve purchased or not purchased because of the environmental record of the manufacturer. Which begs the question: How do they know a product is green?

Americans are increasingly working to manage their environmental concerns via their purchases.

If we go back in time to 2014, the No. 1 answer by far was, "I read the ingredients/detail on the package."

So Americans have trusted their own knowledge base as a way to determine what details or storylines matter most — and they’ve trusted brands to be honest with them.

Fast forward to 2020 and while "I read the package" is still the No. 1 answer, it’s slipped a bit. And a significant number have lost confidence in their own ability to judge whether a product is green — 23 percent now say there’s no way to know. But one measure has gained traction that, in fact, is a way to know whether a product is green: third-party certifications.






This story was originally published by GreenBiz and can be accessed here.

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Environment & Climate