SC Johnson Sponsors 20th Anniversary Survey, Finding Shifts in Consumer Green Attitudes and Behaviors

Oct 4, 2011 8:00 AM ET
Press Release

(3BL Media / theCSRfeed) Racine, WI - October 4, 2011 - Today, SC Johnson and GfK Roper Consulting released survey findings on American consumer green attitudes and behaviors, painting a compelling picture of the evolution of consumer interests and actions over the last two decades. The SC Johnson proprietary survey, which is part of the 20th Anniversary Green Gauge® survey, examines how American consumers’ environmental knowledge affects their actions and behaviors.  The results found that 75 percent of American consumers say they feel good when they take steps to help the environment, a positive sentiment that is reflected by their increased environmental actions. 

“It is empowering to see the dramatic shifts in behavior change and to gain greater insight into tiers of consumer influence,” says Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. “To move the needle even further, all parties – government, businesses and consumers – need to continue to take responsibility and action.  For SC Johnson, this means working hard to find new ways to help families make greener choices.”
Survey data shows that influencing behavior change is possible, and when compared to 1990, Americans are now two times as likely to sort trash to separate garbage from recyclable materials and buy products made from or packaged in recycled materials. Both financial incentives and penalties (both ranked at 49 percent) have a greater influence on consumers’ green behaviors than pressure from family, friends and government – with celebrities having the least reported impact at 7 percent.
The Environment and Today’s Realities
Individuals find they can “do a little” to help the environment and make positive decisions rather than doing nothing or doing a lot. The tempering of expectations may be contributed to today’s economic reality. While 48 percent of those surveyed are concerned for the environment, they admit there are more important issues to be addressed today. Forty one percent state economic security is their number one concern, followed by environmental problems – up from 13 percentage points from pre-recession 2007.
While today’s economy is top of mind, when asked who should take the lead in addressing environmental problems and issues, 38 percent ranked “individual Americans” and 29 percent ranked “business and industry.” Individual behavior changes can be attributed to increased knowledge and understanding of what is good and bad for the environment.
Knowledge and Insight Matters
The survey findings show that Americans are both increasingly knowledgeable about environmental impacts and crave more information. Typically, lack of environmental knowledge is one of the most cited barriers to personal engagement with protecting the environment. In 1990, 39 percent of American consumers surveyed admitted that they were very confused about what’s good and what’s bad for the environment; while in 2011, the number of people with the same response dropped to 18 percent.
With increased knowledge comes increased action – by both consumers and businesses. “GfK Roper’s partnership with SC Johnson has allowed us to conduct a deeper analysis into the American consumer’s understanding and green actions,” says Timothy Kenyon, Director of the GfK Roper Green Gauge® Report, GfK Custom Research North America. “In 1990, SC Johnson took the lead in seeking insight into American consumer actions and behaviors. Since then, we have been able to develop strong analytics to guide best business practices.”
In 1990, SC Johnson commissioned a pioneer study, The Environment:  Public Attitudes and Individual Behavior, providing insight into the future of America’s commitment to preserving and protecting the environment. The study was executed by GfK Roper and was the precursor to the Green Gauge® Report – the first, large-scale survey to measure both green attitudes and behaviors. This year, once again SC Johnson teamed up with GfK Roper and sponsored a select set of questions to measure changes in consumer buying behaviors and their expectations for Corporate America’s environmental behaviors.
SC Johnson’s Commitment to the Environment 
SC Johnson continues to improve its products and packaging to reduce environmental impacts. Windex®, one of the company’s most well-known brands of nearly 75 years, is sold in bottles made from 50 percent post-consumer recycled material that is also recyclable when the bottle is empty. Earlier this year, and in demonstration of its commitment to the environment, SC Johnson launched Windex® Mini, a concentrated refill pouch that uses 90 percent less plastic packaging than a traditional 26 fluid ounce trigger bottle.  To provide greener choices to its consumers, SC Johnson expanded its corporate Web site to include a section designed to provide families with information to help them make daily changes to help the environment.
Acting together with its consumers, SC Johnson commits to taking more bold steps to educate and help families make sensible, greener choices. No matter the economic climate, the company looks to provide consumers with simple and innovative products that are both effective and environmentally safe for consumers and their families. Learn more about the company's environmental initiatives and actions.  
Read the GfK Roper/SC Johnson report in full on the SC Johnson Web site.

About SC Johnson                 

SC Johnson is a family-owned and managed business dedicated to innovative, high-quality products, excellence in the workplace and a long-term commitment to the environment and the communities in which it operates. Based in the USA, the company is one of the world's leading manufacturers of household cleaning products and products for home storage, air care and pest control. It markets such well-known brands as GLADE®, KIWI®, OFF!®, PLEDGE®, RAID®, SCRUBBING BUBBLES®, SHOUT®, WINDEX® and ZIPLOC® in the U.S. and beyond, with brands marketed outside the U.S. including AUTAN®, TANA®, BAMA®, BAYGON®, BRISE®, KABIKILLER®, KLEAR®, MR. MUSCLE®, and RIDSECT®. The 125-year-old company, that generates $9 billion in sales, employs approximately 12,000 people globally and sells products in virtually every country around the world.
About GfK Roper Consulting
A division of GfK Custom Research North America, GfK Roper Consulting is comprised of GfK’s syndicated consumer trend services -- GfK Roper Reports® US, GfK Roper Reports® Worldwide, GfK Roper Green Gauge® and the GfK Roper Youth Report -- which monitor consumer values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors in the US and more than 25 other countries. GfK Roper Consulting’s mission is to help clients turn insights into inspiration and foresight into advantage worldwide.


Jam Stewart
SC Johnson
+1-262260ext. 6654
Eileen Gallagher
+1-312240ext. 2966