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Report Says Consumers Want More Sustainably-Made Products than the Market Provides

  • Sustainability Not Just about 'Saving the Earth' for Consumers According to a New Hartman Group Report
    PR Web, 5/29/2007
    Straight to the Source

According to the report released by The Hartman Group the term "sustainability," while widely used by the media and industry, has little to no meaning to consumers, they ascribe very different personal meanings to this term. The newest report released by The Hartman Group, The Hartman Report on Sustainability: Understanding the Consumer Perspective, examines how public perception of sustainability affects consumer behavior.

According to the report released by The Hartman Group the term "sustainability," while widely used by the media and industry, has little to no meaning to consumers, they ascribe very different personal meanings to this term. The newest report released by The Hartman Group, The Hartman Report on Sustainability: Understanding the Consumer Perspective, examines how public perception of sustainability affects consumer behavior.

The report finds that just over half (54%) of consumers claim any familiarity at all with the term "sustainability" and most of these consumers cannot define it appropriately upon probing. Only 5% indicate they know which companies support sustainability values. Only 12% indicate they know where to buy products from such companies.

Sustainability is not seen by consumers as simply 'saving the Earth.' It is a multi-dimensional topic that encompasses the environment, the family, the community and even the economy of today's world "Sustainability is not seen by consumers as simply 'saving the Earth.' It is a multi-dimensional topic that encompasses the environment, the family, the community and even the economy of today's world," said Laurie Demeritt, President and COO for The Hartman Group. "Many of the consumer values driving the interest in health and wellness stem from a foundation of sustainability. Sustainability, in a sense, is about preserving a certain condition or way of life; the ability to control one's surroundings."

According to The Hartman Report on Sustainability, while most consumers have a limited understanding of the broad concept of sustainability, consumer engagement can be described in varying degrees of "sustainability consciousness." This refers to the way people link everyday life to "big" problems (e.g., food, water and air quality). The report finds that 72% of US consumers believe their purchases have significant impact on society. Additionally, a full 71% say they are "somewhat likely" or "very likely" to pay a 10% premium for sustainable products.

"The dynamics of sustainability in American consumer culture will continue to change and evolve, just as dynamics behind so-called 'green' and 'environmental' markets have evolved. For those involved with speaking to consumers from a platform of sustainability, we feel that it is important to reiterate that we are currently experiencing a significant cultural shift in which consumers will continue to adapt their behavior to align with companies, products, and services which they find to be relevant to their current lifestyle," said Harvey Hartman, Founder, Chairman & CEO.

About the Report: The Hartman Report on Sustainability: Understanding the Consumer Perspective is the first major integrated quantitative and qualitative study to find out how consumers feel about a world struggling to live in balance today for the benefit of future generations. The research for this report was conducted in the winter of 2007 and includes 150 hours of ethnographic research as well as a national quantitative survey with 1,606 respondents.

About The Hartman Group: The Hartman Group, Inc., founded 1989, is a full-service consulting and market research firm offering a wide range of services and products specializing on the health and wellness markets. The company's headquarters are located in Bellevue, Washington.

Additional information about The Hartman Report on Sustainability: Understanding the Consumer Perspective can be found at The Hartman Group website - www.hartman-group.com.  

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