British Columbians Name Most Environmentally-Friendly Retailers

Majority (71%) Say A Retailer’s Environmental Activities Important In Their Shopping Decision

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Vancouver, BC – Retailers' activities in helping to preserve and protect the environment are visibly still very relevant to British Columbians. According to a recent study by Ipsos Reid conducted in the spring of 2012, a large majority (71%) say that retailers' actions are either very or somewhat important in deciding where to shop. The importance placed on this aspect of a retailer's performance has remained high each time it has been tested (67% in 2011; 72% in 2010; and 74% in 2009).

But what kind of a grade do BC retailers get when it comes to environmental performance and who are the retailers that stand out in the minds of British Columbians as doing a particularly good job? These were some of the questions Ipsos Reid posed in the 2012 edition of the Retailers and the Environment Study, an annual study of the attitudes and opinions British Columbians have about the environmental actions of retailers operating in the province.

Collectively, results suggest that not all British Columbians are satisfied with the job that retailers are doing; only 39% give retailers as a whole in BC a good score (2% very good, 37% somewhat good). But this is because more British Columbians are unable to answer (34% don't know) rather than a lot feeling they are doing a poor job (25% give retailers a poor score, 2% very poor).

Catherine Dawson, Senior Vice President, Ipsos Reid in Vancouver explains, "Our results are clearly reflecting the fact that many consumers haven't heard about actions taken by BC retailers when it comes to environmental protection and sustainability. This suggests that better communication tactics by retailers can make a difference as much as better environmental strategies can."

However, even if all retailers are not demonstrating their eco-smarts, there are some retailers in BC that are standing out. Survey respondents were asked to name one retailer they thought best exemplifies an environmentally-friendly business (without a pre-determined list to choose from) and 70% were able to name a retailer that they feel is making the grade.

Topping this list is BC-based outdoor activity and recreation retailer Mountain Equipment Co-op. Other BC-based retailers including London Drugs, Save-On-Foods, and Choices ranked in the Top 10 alongside international brands such as Starbucks, The Body Shop, and Whole Foods. A complete Top 10 list is as follows:

Top 10 Mentioned Environmentally-Friendly Retailers in BC

  1. Mountain Equipment Co-op
  2. Save-On-Foods
  3. Starbucks
  4. Thrifty Foods
  5. The Body Shop
  6. Real Canadian Superstore
  7. London Drugs
  8. Choices Market
  9. Whole Foods
  10. Safeway

This study is part of Ipsos Reid's 2012 Retail Trends in British Columbia Study which features regular special feature reports on current events in the retail industry.

These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid study fielded from March 26 to April 3, 2012. This online survey of 1,177 adult British Columbians, 18 years and older, was conducted using Ipsos Reid's proprietary "Voice of the West Interactive Forum" – an online panel of more than 6,000 British Columbians who have been randomly recruited to match the overall characteristics of the adult residents of the province. Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online studies of this nature, however, an unweighted probability sample of this size, with a 100% response rate, would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. In October 2011 Ipsos completed the acquisition of Synovate. The combination forms the world's third largest market research company. With offices in 84 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across six research specializations: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs research, and survey management.

Ipsos researchers 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 and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,363 billion ($1.897 billion U.S.) in 2011.

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British Columbians Name Most Environmentally-Friendly Retailers


Michael Rodenburgh
Executive Vice President, Canada
Ipsos Marketing