Europeans believe buying green can make a difference
A new European Commission survey indicates that more than three-quarters of EU consumers are willing to pay more for environmentally-friendly products if they were confident that the products are truly environmentally-friendly (77%). However, only slightly more than half of survey respondents feel informed (55%) about the environmental impacts of the products they buy and use.
The survey, Attitudes of Europeans towards building the single market for green products, reveals a large majority of EU citizens believes that buying environmentally-friendly products can make a difference to the environment (89%) and that they are as effective as regular products (74%). Confidence that products labelled environmentally-friendly are less harmful to the environment is highest in Portugal (84%), Malta (82%), France (81%) and Belgium (81%). However, confidence is significantly lower in Germany (44%), Romania (46%) and the Netherlands (47%).
Just over half of EU citizens generally trust producers' claims about the environmental performance of their products (52%), but a majority of Europeans do not trust companies' reports on their own environmental performance (54%). EU citizens are most likely to believe that they have come across exaggerated or misleading statements in Romania (40%), Bulgaria (40%), Greece (39%) and Latvia (37%). This belief is least common in Malta (17%) and Estonia (20%). There is nonetheless strong support for obliging companies to publish reports on their overall environmental performance and the environmental performance of their products (69%).
Environment Commissioner Janez Poto?nik commented: "Of course we all want to see more green products on shelves, but this survey shows that most of us are confused by green claims and don't trust them. That's not good for consumers, and it is not rewarding those companies that are really making an effort. We are working with companies and other stakeholders to develop the credible information consumers are looking for when they buy products. This will help develop markets and open up opportunities for innovation and investment in the green economy."
You can view the full report here.
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