In spite of their doubts about the commitment of American companies to sustainability, consumers and business leaders want to learn more about eco-friendly green business efforts, a new study says. And their numbers are growing.
Though only about one in five (21 percent) of consumers and one-quarter of corporate executives believe that the majority of businesses are sincere in their commitment to improving the environment, the number of these confident consumers and executives has steadily grown over the past three years, according to a study sponsored by Gibbs & Soell, a business communications firm.
And despite their doubt, most U.S. adults (71 percent) and business leaders (70 percent) have an interest in learning what companies are doing to “go green.”
The study defined "going green" as improving the health of the environment by implementing more sustainable business practices and/or offering environmentally friendly products and services.
The study also revealed that most consumers believe corporate sustainability activities are more likely to be covered by the media when the news is bad than good. Three-quarters (75 percent) of U.S. adults and 69 percent of corporate leaders feel the media are more likely to report on bad news than good news when covering how companies are addressing efforts to “go green.”
Specifically, among the 21 percent of consumers who believe "most," "almost all," or "all" companies are committed to "going green," 83 percent feel there is a bias toward bad news in the media.
"Our study provides an unprecedented look at the sustainability dialogue between businesses and the general public by combining three years of attitudinal research among consumers and executives with media coverage analysis," said Ron Loch, senior vice president and managing director of Gibbs & Soell. "The results reveal growing efforts by business communicators in relating their corporate responsibility stories, but also underscore a deficit in general understanding and trust. It’s clear much more needs to be achieved in terms of relevant engagement with consumers and the media around corporate sustainability."
Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.