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The Integer Group is out with a new study saying that “nearly one in four shoppers are willing to pay more for something if it makes them feel like they are contributing to saving the environment. Shoppers ages 18 to 34 are slower to embrace making purchasing changes to benefit the environment than those shoppers ages 35 to 44 and 55 to 64.”

The study goes on: “While college-aged consumers are expected to quickly embrace eco concerns, the data shows they aren't necessarily willing to pay money to do so. Also interesting, is a higher eco-consciousness amongst the 55+ set compared to younger generations. Results show that all consumers are willing to make easy changes such as switching out light bulbs or getting paperless statements, but when it comes to doing something that requires more time, money and effort, such as only purchasing locally-grown organic food or carpooling, the amount of willing participants drops.”
KC's View:
One of the central conclusions of the research seems to be that marketers using the environment as a sales took need to illustrate the tangible benefits of changing behavior, as well as focus on both emotional and functional needs. That strikes me as sensible, especially these days; depending on the demographic, of course, more than ever people need to see clearly the impact of their actions, both on the environment and their own lives.

I’ve always thought that retailers that invest in environmental technologies ought to be clear about their efforts, with signs that describe the innovations and state, in no uncertain terms, what the impact of these initiatives are. Most people would feel good about patronizing retailers that are being intelligent about the environment, and it could have the effect of strengthening the connection between store and shopper.