Continued economic stagnation has discouraged people from prioritising green issues with fewer people willing to make compromises to benefit the environment and fewer people prepared to pay a premium price for environmentally friendly products now compared with 2007. Still hardly anyone is prepared to admit that they don’t do anything for the environment, possibly because of the ‘halo effect’ created as a result of extensive coverage of green issues in the media.

Scepticism about companies’ green credentials is rife, with fully half of adults agreeing that brands are not as green as they say they are, with people who are putting a priority on green actions in the coming year exhibiting more cynicism, despite the fact that they are more willing to consider environmental factors when purchasing products.

Increasingly consumers are trying to avoid getting caught up in the ‘greenwash’ and demanding concrete proof of companies’ commitments towards the environment as well as evidence that their own green actions would matter down the line. This is particularly important in view of the current financial environment, when people’s finances are overstretched and choosing between one’s environmental commitment and the need to fall within a certain budget is more challenging.


Mintel conducted online consumer research in January 2012 on a sample of 2,000 internet users aged 16+.


DECC Department for Energy and Climate Change
DSA Driving Standards Authority
EDF Energy Electricite de France Energy
FPI Family and Parenting Institute
M&S Marks & Spencer
Ofgem The Office of the Gas and Electricity Markets
Solar PV system Solar photovoltaic system
UCAS Universities and Colleges Admissions Service
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