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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   9 May 2013  

Global consumers are concerned about green issues but more than half unaware of how they can help

SINGAPORE – All over the world, much has been said and reported about green issues and the impact of climate change over the years. Latest Green Gauge Global findings by GfK has revealed that over 7 in 10 consumers globally as well as in the Asia Pacific region are concerned about environmental pollution and a similar proportion (67 percent) view global warming as a concern.

Green Gauge Global is in its fourth reporting year and is part of the Roper Reports® Worldwide consumer trends study. GfK polled over 37,500 consumers aged 15+ across 25 countries, including eight from Asia Pacific - Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand, where respondents were surveyed on their attitudes, behaviors and values across a range of topics. This year, additional reports for Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam will be available as well.

“Green Gauge Global findings reflect environmental pollution being on par with issues like crime and lawlessness and also educational quality,” observed Jodie Roberts, Regional Director for GfK Consumer Trends. “It is interesting to note that concern for pollution tends to be higher in emerging markets like China where environmental degradation is much more visible.”

Although the majority of consumers are concerned about global warming, 3 in 5 (60%) consumers in the Asia Pacific region said they would do more for the environment but they don’t know how. This sentiment appears to be more prominent in the developing countries, especially China and India. Meanwhile, consumers who seem more equipped on how to contribute to the environment are from Australia and Taiwan.

However, there is a surfacing trend of emerging markets starting to take the lead in some green attitudes over the past few years. Developing countries in Asia Pacific are more likely to conserve energy and water at home, as compared to their counterparts in the developed countries.

Among established markets, it’s worth highlighting that in Taiwan, concern about the environment is consistent with their behaviors. In fact Taiwan is the most active country in the region when it comes to environmental behaviors. For instance, 94 percent of Taiwanese recycle frequently, making them the highest proportion amongst all other countries in the world.

“The level of  awareness, attitude and green behavior is different across countries and largely depends on many factors, from infrastructure within the country, experience of natural disasters, efforts by the local government and the companies within countries and so forth,” highlighted Roberts. “One particularly noteworthy observation is the fact that consumers globally are increasingly expecting corporations to do their part to address the environment.”

Across the region, three-quarters of respondents agreed that it is important that companies take environmentally responsible actions such as using environmentally friendly materials. Sentiments are especially strong in Indonesia, Taiwan and India.

“It important for companies to understand the reasons behind consumers wanting to go ‘green’, which aside from altruism, could stem from other motivations such as saving money and even showing their social status – a behavior particularly apparent in Asia,” said Roberts. “We live in an era where companies are evaluated not just on their products and services but also how socially responsible they are perceived to be, and this will have a great impact on their business performance going forward,” she concluded.
About GfK
GfK is one of the world’s largest research companies, with more than 12,000 experts working to discover new insights into the way people live, think and shop, in over 100 markets, every day. GfK is constantly innovating and using the latest technologies and the smartest methodologies to give its clients the clearest understanding of the most important people in the world: their customers. In 2012, GfK’s sales amounted to €1.51 billion.

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