Wednesday, 17 December 2008

TNS Green Survey

TNS recently published the results of a survey in 17 countries looking at green attitudes, perceptions and behaviours. A total of 13,128 people were interviewed online and much of the report compares responses by country. The full report is here.

One interesting question was about actions to benefit the environment and the IT industry seems to have scored a hit. Top of the respondents' list is shutting down computers when not in use (46% said they always do it and 23% said they often do it). The second-placed action (turning down heating/air conditioning) got an 'always' count of only 36%.

Respondents were asked if they understood the term 'carbon footprint' and only 42% said they did (although whether that's true or not is another question). But there were huge differences in responses. Japan and the UK were way ahead of anywhere else, with 97% and 94% respectively saying they knew what it meant. At the other end of the scale were France (21%), Italy (17%), Germany (15%) and Korea (12%).

Awareness doesn't bring action, though. Among those that know what a carbon footprint is, only 28% plan to measure it and that includes just 7% in Japan and 26% in the UK.

It gets worse. When asked whether they are willing to pay more for green IT products and services the UK came bottom of the list - only 45% were prepared to pay more and the USA, Italy and France were not much better. By contrast, in Thailand 94% said they would pay more.

France Germany and the UK were also at the bottom of the list of respondents willing to pay extra for waste collection services that recycle (41%, 34% and 28% respectively). Although, to be fair, there is already extensive recycling of household waste in some countries and in the UK, for example, the view is likely to be that its being done already, paid for through taxes.

Finally, do companies who promote themselves as Green get our business? In response 6% said it was a significant influencer and 18% said it was a large influencer, making 24% overall. Five emerging markets were at the top of the table; Brazil (58%), Mexico (49%), Argentina (42%), Thailand (42%), and Malaysia (35%). Whilst at the other end of the scale were 25% in France, 19% in the USA, 17% in the UK and 12% in Germany, perhaps because of the additional publicity given to greenwashing.

Interesting results, but as much as anything else I think it highlights the different stages that countries are at in becoming more environmentally aware and active. For example, the more that's being done already the less urgent the issues become, which might otherwise be seen as inaction. I've had several conversations along those lines about the Green IT market in Europe. For example, Green IT is seen as less of an issue in Germany because there already exists a more pervasive Green attitude in that country and Green IT is not separated out.

© The Green IT Review

No comments:

Post a Comment