Companies can Improve Consumer Satisfaction by Offering Green Choices

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – In the U.S., indirect carbon emissions of products and services that consumers purchase are double the direct emissions from home energy use and personal travel. Growing awareness of this reality is leading to an increased consumer preference for greener products and services.

Research conducted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that companies can improve consumer satisfaction and reduce the carbon footprint of their supply chains by empowering consumers with information and tools to make green choices.

The findings are based on a series of experiments to measure the inclination of consumers towards various approaches to making more environmentally friendly buying decisions in online transactions. The research team looked at the impact of eco-labeling as well as offering consumers the option to add carbon offsets to their bills.

The experiments focused on four sectors: online retailing, ride sharing, video streaming and short-term lodging. NREL's Steven Isley, the lead author of the report said that consumers who wish to reduce GHG emissions embodied in their purchase decisions can be stymied by lack of reliable and accessible information.

Companies can take simple steps to gather and share emissions data at the point of purchase and offer greener alternatives to increase the likelihood that consumers will make greener choices. The research revealed that providing such options can increase satisfaction of green-minded consumers.

The report titled "Online Purchasing Creates Opportunities to Lower the Life Cycle Carbon Footprints of Consumer Products" is part of a larger body of work at NREL focused on the human element in energy systems. The research aims to identify opportunities to increase comfort and quality of life for individuals while simultaneously identifying opportunities to optimize energy systems.

Doug Arent, who leads the area of work for NREL and is executive director of the Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis, said that the findings indicate that the ways in which consumer services are designed, delivered, and optimized can have a major impact on energy consumption in the 21st century.

Source: NREL

Image Credit: NREL