Capstrat Study: Consumers Will Pay More for Green

A national Capstrat-Public Policy Polling survey found that 59% of consumers consider a product’s environmental sustainability to be “very important” in their buying decisions. And 56% noted they would pay “a little” to “significantly” more for a product that was environmentally friendly.

Yet — in a mystifying donut hole between opportunity and realization — nearly half of respondents (47%) said sustainability and environmental friendliness are “rarely” or “never” mentioned in their employers’ communications. Only 20% of respondents said sustainability was “frequently” mentioned.

In its reporting of the data, Capstrat asks, “Are companies missing an opportunity to promote the “greenness” of their products and services?”

The research organization adds that these survey results are in line with a its 2009 poll in which 54% of respondents cited sustainability as “very important” in their buying decisions and 59% said they would pay “a little” to “significantly” more for a product that was environmentally friendly. In that poll, 46% of respondents said sustainability was “rarely” or “never” mentioned in their companies’ communications.

“Poll results show that consumers’ commitment to sustainability is holding strong,” says Capstrat CEO, Ken Eudy. ”Companies with a genuine commitment to the environment are missing a huge opportunity to promote this orientation – even with their own employees. Corporations could and should do more to communicate what they are doing to protect the environment.”

2009 2010 Change
I am willing to pay “a little” or “significantly” more for a product that is environmentally friendly 54% 56% +2%
Sustainability is “rarely” or “never” mentioned in employer communications 46% 47% +1%

To view complete survey results, visit

Other notable findings reported by Capstrat include:

Millennials more likely to pay for green:

Nineteen percent of Millennials are willing to pay “significantly more” for a green product, more than any other age cohort (results were 4% for ages 30-45; 7% for ages 46-65; and 5% among those older than 65.

Men less likely to pay for green:

Fifty-two percent of men say they will pay “no more” for a green product — compared to 32% of women.

Democrats twice as concerned about green:

Environmental friendliness is more important to Democrats — 11% of respondents identifying themselves as Democrats called sustainability the most important factor in purchasing decisions compared to only 4% of Republicans.

Written by Heidi Tolliver-Walker

Heidi Tolliver-Walker has been a commercial and digital printing industry analyst, feature writer, columnist, editor, and author for nearly 20 years. She is known for her meticulous research and no-nonsense perspective. In addition to having written thousands of industry articles for top industry publications, she and Richard Romano have been the face of the well-respected industry research firm The Industry Measure (TrendWatch Graphic Arts) for many years. In her more than 13-year tenure with the firm, she has written countless reports on digital printing, 1:1 (personalized) printing, Web-to-print, personalized URLs, and other hot industry applications. She is also a long-time contributing editor and columnist for Printing News, for which she writes two monthly columns, including "Personal Effects," which features monthly analysis of 1:1 (personalized) printing case studies. She is also the author of three titles for the National Association of Printing Leadership: Designer's Printing Companion, Ink & Color: A Printer's Guide, and Diversifying Via Value-Added Services. As a small, niche publisher (Strong Tower Publishing), she is active in utilizing these technologies in her own business, as well.


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