Environmental Actions Are A Differentiating Opportunity For BC Retailers

Most (77%) BC Consumers Say A Retailer’s Environmental Actions Are Important In Their Store Choice, But A Majority (58%) Also Say It Is Difficult To Judge What Retailers Are Doing To Help The Environment

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Vancouver, BC – A new Ipsos Reid poll in BC reveals that most British Columbians take a retailer’s environmental record into account when deciding where to shop. Three-quarters (77%) of British Columbians say that a retailer’s actions in helping to preserve and protect the environment are either “very important” (24%) or “somewhat important” (53%) in their overall decision of where to shop.

While consumers say that environmental actions are important in their store choice, they also recognize that it is difficult to evaluate an individual retailer’s actions. Only four-in-ten British Columbians (37%) believe that they can accurately judge whether a retailer has done a good or poor job at helping to preserve and protect the environment. In fact, only 3% indicate that they can judge a retailer “very well”, while 34% indicate that they can judge a retailer “fairly well”. Nearly six-in-ten British Columbians (58%) state that they are “not very able” (45%) or “not at all able” (13%) to make this judgment.

These results imply that the onus is on retailers to inform consumers of what actions they are taking. Actions related to packaging and materials of the products offered in-store are of most importance for consumers to judge a retailers performance in helping the environment. Specifically, consumers state that it is “very important” for a retailer to provide recycling facilities for product packaging (67%), offer products that are free of toxic materials (65%), provide products with environmentally friendly packaging (64%) and provide products with replacement parts (63%). Other actions a retailer can take that are “very important” to consumers include:

  • Providing products with replacement parts (63%),
  • Providing recycling for durable products when they are no longer useful (61%),
  • Offering products made from recyclable/compostable materials (54%),
  • Offering products that are manufactured/grown in an environmentally friendly manner (52%),
  • Having an environmentally sensitive plastic bag policy (52%),
  • Marketing or advertising using recycled paper (50%),
  • Using less energy in-store (49%),
  • Considering the environment in store building/design (44%),
  • Offering products that are locally manufactured or grown (44%), or
  • Providing financial support to environmental causes (33%).

Look for results from a related survey about consumer opinions on the environment at EPIC: The Vancouver Sun Sustainable Living Expo on April 18th – 20th at the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre (999 Canada Place). Ipsos is proud to be a sponsor of EPIC, Vancouver's largest green consumer show and eco-marketplace. Greening your life is easy – all you need is a little education and inspiration. Learn how to live a healthier, more sustainable life from experts in everything from eco traveling to green weddings. For more information and to purchase tickets to the event, please visit www.epicexpo.com.

These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid online poll conducted between April 2 and 10, 2008 with a representative sample of 863 adult British Columbians. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ± 3.3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult population of British Columbians been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. The polling was conducted using Ipsos Reid’s “Voice of the West Interactive Forum” – an online panel of more than 5,000 British Columbians who have been randomly recruited to match the overall characteristics of the adult residents of the province.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Catherine Dawson
Senior Vice President
Ipsos Reid
(778) 373-5003

About Ipsos Reid
Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader, the country's leading provider of public opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 600 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in the country, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos Reid's marketing research and public affairs practices offer the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada, all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos Reid offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of the Canadian economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, retail, and technology & telecommunications. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey- based market research group.

To learn more, please visit www.ipsos.ca.

About Ipsos
Ipsos is a leading global survey-based market research company, owned and managed by research professionals. Ipsos helps interpret, simulate, and anticipate the needs and responses of consumers, customers, and citizens around the world.

Member companies assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media. They measure public opinion around the globe.

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Environmental Actions Are A Differentiating Opportunity For BC Retailers


Michael Rodenburgh
Executive Vice President, Canada
Ipsos Marketing