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consumers urge green firms to "shout louder"

consumers urge green firms to "shout louder"

Carbon Trust survey reveals shoppers believe the high street fails to provide enough environmental information

Consumer interest in environmental issues remains high, according to a major new survey from the Carbon Trust, which reveals that seven out of 10 shoppers want businesses to provide them with more information on products' green credentials.

The survey of more than 1,000 consumers also found that almost two thirds of shoppers are more likely to buy a product if it provides evidence that action has been taken to reduce its carbon footprint, while 58 per cent claim to look more kindly on firms that try to limit their greenhouse gas emissions.

However, despite the launch of numerous green consumer products and services in recent years, the vast majority of shoppers feel businesses are still not trying hard enough to tackle climate change, with only 12 per cent of respondents claiming businesses are doing enough to curb emissions.

"Companies cannot ignore the fact that consumers care about climate change and what a brand is doing to fight it," said Euan Murray, general manager for carbon footprinting.

He added that the survey's results should encourage more firms to take part in the Carbon Trust's high-profile carbon footprinting initiative, which has seen carbon labels detailing a product's embedded carbon emissions included on a wide range of products.

Murray said trials of the labelling scheme by companies such as Tesco and Boots show that businesses which use the labels are seeing both immediate cost savings and an improved "green" reputation among consumers.

The survey also revealed that carbon labels and the concept of carbon footprinting have secured consumer acceptance in the mainstream. It found that 60 per cent of shoppers now understand that a product such as a chocolate bar or loaf of bread has a carbon footprint related to greenhouse emissions released throughout its life.

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