It appears holiday shopping – and specifically online shopping – is on the rise in 2011, with retail sales jumping 14% since last year, according to The Wall Street Journal. This increase in holiday shopping translates to an increase in consumer choices, but is there a way to help consumers paint those choices green?
Research by Ryan Partnership Chicago and Mambo Sprouts Marketing is trying to find a way to do just that, reports Heather Clancy of Smart Planet. The report, entitled “One Green Score for One Earth,” posits that plenty of people want to be responsible and buy green products, but have grown weary of deciphering multiple labels in search of sustainability. The researchers propose that consumers could use a scoring system to help them make greener consumer choices by supporting sustainable brands.
The research was based on 802 survey respondents, nine out of 10 of whom said they would find some type of universal scoring system helpful in making more informed, sustainable choices. The white paper on the results also pointed out that while consumers are focused on a product’s environmental impact (energy conservation and carbon footprint, for example), other qualities should also be factored into buying decisions, such as social and corporate responsibility, fair trade and cruelty-free practices, and locally sourced materials or ingredients.
What might this new score look like? Three in four consumers favored a numerical rating system, even endorsing the idea that a single product might carry several different scores depending on the criteria assessed. Furthermore, three in four surveyed said they would prefer that an independent organization – with no financial stake in the scores – come up with the scoring system.
How did sustainability factor into your holiday shopping decisions? Do you agree that a scoring system would make your consumer choices greener? Share your ideas below in our comments section.