Consumer Attitudes about Green Buildings and Sustainability

Today’s consumers live greener lifestyles and are committed to sustainable living for the long term. Corporations and organizations need to understand what these findings mean for their organization and any sustainable buildings.

Consumer Attitudes SustainabilityEarn a Referral
Each year, the Global Corporate Social Responsibility RepTrak study names the top 100 companies that are perceived to have the best corporate social responsibility (CSR) by consumers. They found that consumers are not only more likely to patronize a corporation they perceive to have a strong commitment to CSR, they’ll also tell their friends. An astounding 73% of consumers said that they would be willing to recommend a company based on their CSR, which include things like sustainable buildings, recycling and low energy consumption. It’s equally important to note that only 17% of these consumers would be willing to recommend a company that demonstrates poor corporate social responsibility.

Consequences of Irresponsible Economic Behavior
Consider the backlash against large companies that don’t adhere to the environmental norms and standards followed by today’s consumers. Nine out of ten consumers would boycott a company that knowingly engages in detrimental environmental behavior. Obtaining certification is a great way to let consumers know that the company cares about environmental issues, and could serve to refute any allegations that the company doesn’t care about its environmental impact. Sustainable buildings and businesses send a message to consumers that the organization cares about the quality of the environment.

Consumers May Pay More for Green
According to a green consumer study conducted by Harris Interactive, over 75% of consumers are making green purchases. Demographics for green buyers indicate that they are primarily in the 18-35 age range and tend to be a part of the higher income bracket. Therefore, it shouldn’t be surprising that over 40% of consumers say that they are willing to pay more for sustainable products. Could this mean that sustainable buildings, green business practice and certification could justify an increase in cost that results in a more eco-friendly product? Consumers may agree.

What an Organization Can Do
For small businesses and corporations that feel they aren’t socially responsible, it may seem like it could costs many thousands, if not millions, of dollars to convert their facilities to a green building. However, simply obtaining a green certification that demonstrates the company commitment to recycling, sustainable buildings and other eco-friendly corporate practices may be all that is necessary to give consumers the confidence in environmental impact.

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