Going green has gone in and out since the 1970’s. Slowly, over time, we’ve learned to recycle bottles without thinking too much about it and maybe look for detergent that won’t hurt the environment. But when you look at the big picture, there’s very little green being spent on green.
SCA, a hygiene and forest products company, says the tide is shifting now that the buying power is in the hands of the Millennials.
SCA hired the Harris Poll folks to survey over 2,000 US adults over the age of 18. They asked these people how they felt about green purchasing and here’s what they found out.
75% of American adults said they had purchased a green product or service (a slight decrease over last year). Would they buy even more green products in the future? Only 27% of Millennials said yes. Compare that to only 15% of Baby Boomers. I guess we’re done trying to save the Earth.
The majority of respondents said they think buying green will help the environment. Millennials were more concerned about their own health then the well-being of the planet. (24% of Millennials vs 13% of those over 35)
It’s an interesting mind shift. I was brought up on the concept that all you got from buying Earth friendly products was good karma. Now, we’re re-thinking the whole “better living through chemistry” concept and honestly, I don’t know why we weren’t on this page before. If that household cleaner is bad for planet, how can it be good for me?
Buying green isn’t just about a shorter, more readable ingredient list. It’s also about buying products that will naturally degrade and won’t pose a danger to wildlife and ocean life. And then there’s the ethical side. 40% of US adults said they were willing to pay more for a product that used responsible manufacturing practices.
This willingness to pay more goes up as age goes down. Only 34% of those over 35 said they’d pay up but 56% of Millennials were willing to reward manufactures who play by the new rules.
So it looks like green is growing. 41% of those surveyed said the green moving was just getting started. 11% think it’s a fad and 9% said it’s all Big Foot’s fault. (Not really. . . but come on. . a fad?)
Bottom line for marketers: if your product is green and your manufacturing is responsible, shout it from the rooftops and raise your prices because the Millennials are ready and willing to buy.