Why so many Americans don't trust companies who claim to be 'green'

·3-min read

Americans don't trust companies who claim to be "green," according to new research.

A national survey of 2,000 Americans revealed 71% of respondents believe companies claim to be sustainable — even when their actions aren't.

And it's that distrust that has less than a third (26%) of respondents being "very likely" to believe a company who uses words like "green" to describe their products.

Results found 71% believe the term "green" is used so often it's become meaningless — with eco-friendly (57%) and sustainable (36%) also high on the list of overused and empty terms.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of CG Roxane, the survey found that despite mistrusting labels, 23% are still "much more" likely to purchase from companies that use terms like "green" to describe their products.

But perhaps that's not surprising, given that 68% try to make environmentally-conscious decisions in their day-to-day lives, with 64% working toward that mission by trying to purchase eco-friendly products on a regular basis.

In fact, the average respondent said they would be willing to spend 21% more than retail for a product if they could guarantee what they were buying was actually eco-friendly.

Results found 59% specifically look for companies that make it easier to make "greener" decisions, but they can be difficult to find.  

Almost the same number (58%) said they struggle to find companies who live up to their "green" claims, and 66% said it can be too difficult to understand whether or not a company is truly eco-friendly.

Part of the challenge is greenwashing, a term with which 41% of respondents were familiar.

When the definition was given — disinformation spread to present a more environmentally responsible public image — 44% believe they've purchased from companies who participate in greenwashing.

"We believe it's not only important to be an environmentally-friendly and a sustainability-forward company, but to be deeply involved in the conversation surrounding 'green' efforts. We encourage people to research and familiarize themselves with a company's initiatives before making a purchase, and to make sure the organizations they support truly make an impact," said Shawn Fitzpatrick, CG Roxane Vice President of Marketing. "Anyone can put a couple of words on a label, but what real actions are they taking? Sustainability is not what you talk about, it's what you do. It's important to work together to protect where we live, which is why at the end of this year we will have reached the milestone of 1 million trees planted through our partnership with American Forests."

The survey also explored the various barriers people face, when it comes to living a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

Results revealed the top barrier was the higher costs of environmentally-friendly products (44%), followed by not having enough time to engage in eco-friendly actions (39%).

More than that, 27% said they had a lack of convenient access to sustainable options — but in good news, the vast majority of respondents (94%) said they do care about making environmentally-friendly decisions.

"We care a lot about making environmentally-friendly decisions and understand how these decisions impact the communities we serve and where we live," said Lionel Ferchaud CG Roxane VP of Manufacturing. "This experience will help us reach our national goal of using 100% recycled plastics in our packaging."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting