Economy does not eclipse environment. It’s not a tongue-twister; it’s the very real, very encouraging takeaway from Cone’s newly released research, the 2009 Cone Consumer Environmental Survey. The brief survey explored the environmental attitudes and shopping behaviors of American consumers during today’s economic crisis and found that American interest, shopping habits and expectations of companies to act responsibly have not been blunted by the state of the economy. Key findings include:

  • Purchasing: 34 percent of American consumers indicate they are more likely to buy environmentally responsible products today, and another 44 percent indicate their environmental shopping habits have not changed as a result of the economy

  • Interest: 35 percent of Americans have higher interest in the environment today than they did one year ago

  • Expectations: 35 percent of Americans have higher expectations for companies to make and sell environmentally responsible products and services during the economic downturn

Another key takeaway: Even if they are not buying today, consumers are still holding companies accountable for their sustainability efforts over time. A full seven in 10 Americans say they are paying attention to what companies are doing regarding the environment today, even if they cannot buy until the future.

As Andrea Learned states on her blog, “Don’t assume your brand can give up on ‘green’ to ride out these tough times. If your customers are sticking to their environmental ways through thick and thin (or at least trying very hard to so do), they’ll expect you to do the same.”

Please click here to access the complete 2009 Cone Consumer Environmental Survey release and fact sheet.


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