Americans Put Environment Ahead Of Economic Concerns, Say Brands Should Be Responsible For Addressing It

American consumers are becoming acutely concerned about the environment -- especially global climate change -- and they believe brands and the government need to take more responsibility for solving its problems. That's the conclusion of the 2020 edition of an annual global study on consumer concerns related to the environment.

The study, GfK's "Green Gauge" report, is being released today, and the 2020 edition shows climate change has become one of Americans' top concerns, just behind their anxiety over their personal finances.

The study -- which was conducted in the spring, just as the economic effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic were manifesting -- also found a pronounced jump in the percentage of Americans who believe the companies they do business with should take more responsibility for addressing environmental problems, rising eight points to 78% of Americans from 70% in 2010.



The percentage of Americans who believe the government and not individuals are responsible for addressing environmental concerns, meanwhile, jumped seven points to 44% in 2020 from 37% in 2010.

Environmental angst is becoming so acute among American consumers that 59% now believe it should not take a back seat to economic security and well-being, up 13 points from 46% in 2010.

“General sentiment towards green and sustainability has been increasing, especially when compared to the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009," explains Eric Wagatha, head of GfK's Consumer Life studies in North America, adding" "Also, sustainability does benefit from economic good times – so there has been a positive lead-up to the pandemic. We may see a tightening if the economic impact of the pandemic is longer term.”

2 comments about "Americans Put Environment Ahead Of Economic Concerns, Say Brands Should Be Responsible For Addressing It".
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  1. Len Stein from Visibility Public Relations, September 23, 2020 at 9:11 a.m.

    However, the report states, "environmental pollution is a serious issue according to the findings from the new Green Gauge Global report from GfK Roper Consulting, a division of GfK Custom Research North America. This ranks the US 24th out of 25 markets around the world – close to dead last."

  2. David Stanton from GfK replied, September 24, 2020 at 9:18 a.m.

    @Len Stein: This finding is from a 10-year-old press release -- not from the latest Green Gauge study.

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