Polls indicate that most Americans consider themselves sustainability-aware, "green"-savvy consumers. In fact, a full 75 percent of Americans place themselves in this category.
But presenters at the last day of the two-day "Sustainability in the Inland Northwest" conference said a discrepancy exists between the number of consumers who refer to themselves as "green"-savvy, and those who truly follow through on their convictions and buy environmentally friendly products on a consistent basis.
"There are not that many true 'green' consumers," said Shelley Zimmer, Nike's senior manager of footwear sustainability.
In reality, only about 10 percent of American consumers are truly green-conscious shoppers, Zimmer said. These are the shoppers who actively search out such products and are willing to pay more to get them, she said.
Cascadia Scorecard's Elizabeth Burton believes this trend is "tremendously hopeful: if companies step up to the plate and make green products easily (and affordably) available, there’s a lot of potential for a healthier planet here." There's also vast potential for further education, as the 75% figure shows that most consumers are interested in buying green even if they're not completely aware of what that means.
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