According to a new ABI Research survey, more than two-fifths of consumers said they would be more likely to purchase mobile services or handsets from a company that "gives money to an organization seeking to help the environment, actively employs programs that reduce its carbon footprint [or] buys network equipment from 'green' equipment vendors." Of the 1,000 consumers surveyed, 41% said they would be significantly or somewhat more likely to buy services from such a company, while 45% said the same about handsets and devices.
"Green issues were not even a talking point a couple years back," says Jeff Orr, senior analyst for mobile content at ABI. "Now, subscribers of all age groups are expressing awareness of an interest in eco-friendly device and service incentives."
Despite this, no company has moved ahead to assume the mantle as the green leader in the service provider or device space, Orr tells Marketing Daily. Although most carriers have cell phone recycling programs, other ideas -- such as committing to plant a tree for each purchase or supplying a cell phone recycling envelope with the purchase of a new phone -- have yet to catch on as they have in other consumer technology sectors, he says.
"There's a lot of value in mobile operators putting those initiatives in place," he says. "I think there's a strong opportunity for a service company to step up."
But with consumers showing a willingness to purchase from companies that support such green initiatives, it will only be a matter of time before one or many begin to promote their own programs. Orr says. "Those dots haven't been connected yet. But from what consumers are saying, it's real and it's out there," he says. "There's a lot of education and awareness that could be done."