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Consumers Want Green Gear

Consumers Want Green Gear

Research from the UK based company, The Carbon Trust show that over a quarter of respondents said that they are more concerned with environmental issues when making purchases than they were a year ago. Two thirds said that their concern is the same as it was last year.  The Carbon Trust is an independent firm set up by the UK government to work with businesses and the public sector to reduce carbon emissions and find new ways to use low-carbon technologies.

Two out of three people said it was important to buy from an environmentally responsible company with one in seven taking their business elsewhere if they felt a company’s reputation was not good enough in this regard.

It definitely seems that the shift in public opinion has been noticed by a great deal of manufacturers from all sectors.  The auto industry has been slowly adopting hybrid and electric cars into their fleets with more models on offer at the latest Detroit Motor Show than ever before.  American car manufacturer Ford recently stated that they expect their fleet to be mostly electric within 10 years.

The consumer electronics market also made a move toward green technology at this years Consumer Electronics Show. Hitachi announced their ultra thin LCD televisions that use less power and Sony introduced the first OLED television, designed to be energy efficient. Philips unveiled their ECO TV that manipulates backlight levels to reduce energy consumption and Samsung and Sony continued to develop LED backlit models that use less power and eliminate the use of harsh chemicals during manufacture.

Televisions were a hot topic when it came to energy consumption but many other electronics also received an environmental overhaul as well.  On the whole, manufacturers have made the conscious move to slimmer and more efficient devices while also trying to reduce the number of toxic chemicals used to make them and their environmental impact when they reach the end of their life.  The US phone company AT&T even goes so far as to offer free disposal of their products when it comes time to throw them out.

However, as much as companies are recognising the public desire for greener products, the current financial landscape is making it difficult to accomplish low carbon targets due to the cost of rethinking their environmental strategies.  According to the Times article, Green issues are being put on the back burner as companies are far more concerned with their own survival than saving the planet.

“I understand this sentiment that for some businesses, survival is critical now. But from an environmental perspective, the clock is ticking — we don’t have much time”, Chief executive of the Carbon Trust, Harry Morrison commented,  “In addition, cutting carbon has an immediate bottom-line effect as costs drop, and a medium-term benefit for the brand.”

The Carbon Trust believes that it can help both the public and manufacturers by awarding responsible companies with the right to bear their stamp of approval. “When companies are granted the standard, they can use a logo in all their marketing which makes it clear that they are working towards cutting emissions,” Mr Morrison said.