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Stop Guessing about Consumers’ Eco Intentions
It’s hard to get a handle on consumers’ intentions to buy green products. For every survey that says Americans are now less concerned about the environment, there’s another one that says they’re more worried. To make it even more confusing, all the studies use different approaches, so it’s virtually impossible to track trends over time.

Greenbiz hopes to resolve the issue with the Green Confidence Index. Think of it as the Consumer Confidence Index’s LOHAS cousin. It tracks monthly changes in consumers’ eco attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors using July 2009 as the starting point. The Index has three weighted components: Responsibility (40%), Information (20%), and Purchasing (40%). Responsibility tracks consumers’ views on whether “institutions” are doing what they should to address climate change. Information indicates if consumers feel well informed to make smart green choices. Purchasing measures consumers’ recent and planned environmentally friendly purchases.

You must subscribe to get the entire monthly report. But the four key numbers---the total and each component---are released publicly. In July, all four numbers were set to 100. By November, the indices had moved slightly with the biggest change being Purchasing’s drop to 97.9. In December, the total index increased to 103.2, with Purchasing up to 103.1. One month does not a trend make, but it will be interesting to see if the indices continue to rise with the economy. Stay tuned...

We should think about...
  • Should we look at the Green Confidence Index monthly?
  • Should we set up quarterly tracking of other consumer green attitudes that relate to our business?
Sources:, USA Today 2009
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