Seventy-eight percent of respondents to a recent Gibbs & Soell survey identified “not enough return on investment” as a barrier to businesses going green. Following closely behind, 71 percent of respondents said “consumers’ unwillingness to pay a premium for green products or services” was an obstacle. The PR firm polled 304 executives at Fortune 1000 companies to gather these results.
The July poll – executed by Harris Interactive – also found that only 16 percent of consumers believe most or all businesses are committed to going green. The firm polled 2,605 consumers for this study.
Greenwashing is still a fear on both sides. Consumers are on the lookout for companies that are painting a false picture of their efforts and companies are afraid to tout their sustainability efforts for fear of being called out.
“Given the general level of distrust of companies that exists right now among mainstream consumers, any greenwashing story that hits the general press undermines all companies who have a sustainability message,” Gibbs & Soell SVP for greentech and sustainability Ron Loch told Adweek. Perhaps the answer is better engagement with audiences on your sustainability programs?