Friday, June 22, 2007

Assurance: What does it take to gain consumer trust on climate change?

Increasingly companies are realising the relavence of climate change to there businesses. In some cases there is a bottom line motive to saving energy, in other cases broader strategic advantages are seen, and it some cases it is just that being green is a bonus in PR and staff retention terms.

Do consumers trust the ever more frequent green calims coming there way, and if not what is required to build this trust?

To the first question the answer is an emphatic NO.

Business, governments and consumers in the US and UK are increasingly concerned about climate change. Fifty four percent of consumers are willing to make personal sacrifices to prevent global warming. But only 10% trust the guidance they receive from business and government on this issue.

The second question is investigated in a recent report by AccountAbility.

A wave of green initiatives to counter climate change will probably have limited impact because nine out of 10 consumers are sceptical about the information from companies and governments, according to a new survey out later this week.

More than 40% of consumers distrust what they hear about global warming from businesses while a further 50% do not know whether to believe corporate claims or not.

This contrasts with 60% who trust scientists and almost half who put the same faith in environmental groups such as Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, according to the report from Consumers International and Accountability.

(Guardian, June 19th)

There are also interviews about this report available from Bill Vorley, IIED; Colin Baines, Co-op
and Deborah Evans, LRQA.

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Climate Change Action

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At 3:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this Calvin. This just goes to show that we have to come up with new ways of institutionalising the way that trust is built between businesses and consumers...the more mainstream environmental purchasing becomes, the more accessible it gets, both in pirce and availability...


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