4 Ways to Spur Increased Green Product Demand
Jul 5, 2011
Why Has There Been A Sudden Drop In Green Product Development This Past Year?
A new study shows that green product development has been declining over the past two years.
It showed that just 28 percent of companies have maintained investments in green product development, while 48 percent have increased their spend. That last number represents a drop of 7 percentage points compared to earlier this year, when 55 percent of respondents cited increased funding for green products.
Why is there a sudden drop in green product development?
Are consumers and businesses purchasing less green products?
Green marketing expert Jacquie Ottman suggests that ” lack of familiarity with green brands, inability to identify green brands on the shelf, and price premiums for greener brands that don’t have the benefit of economies of scale” are some of the reasons for the decline.
What can we do to encourage greater acceptance of green products, so that “going green” is not just a passing fad?
Government Mandates? I have written that it might be a good idea to have a program that mandates government offices to increase their green purchases over the next ten years, starting at 10% of purchases–and phasing out completely at the end of the decade. This would give manufacturers a chance to increase production, which would led to economies of scale, and lower prices.
Guilt by Association?: Can we make the buying of non-green products seem “creepy” or “evil” through advertising and social media, such as has been done with cigarette smoking and drinking and driving over the past 10-15 years? Can non-recyclers, for example, get the cold shoulder from their friends and peers? It may take time, but many movements start out this way.
Education?: How much more education about the correlation of greenhouse gases to climate change must we have before real change takes place?
Sure, the younger generation has been taught about climate change in a watered down way over the past decade or so, but real change is taking too long to make an impact.
How can we reach out more to seniors? Can we get churches, synagogues and mosques to preach about the moral duty of becoming good stewards of the planet? Although this movement is certainly growing, it is not happening soon enough.
How about teens, some of the biggest polluters around? Ten hours of climate change, pollution reduction videos before they get their driver’s license? Perhaps.
Increasing Green Product Purchases?: Sure, it may cost a little bit more for a recycled product or organic alternative, but until more people purchase them, prices will not fall quickly enough.
A 10-year tax-break for consumers on green product purchases? Might be hard to implement and administer.
A 10-year tax break for manufacturers of green products? Might be better.
Either way, consumers must shop greener in order to make real change happen. If every consumer switched just 10% of their purchases to green alternatives, imagine the positive impact that would have on the green movement.
The green movement needs participation on all sides to move forward. Green manufacturing without green purchasing equals failure.
Let’s all do our parts to go green.
It needs push, as well as pull.
Have you “purchased green” today?