PHILADELPHIA, April 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The results of a newly released survey commissioned by SCA and conducted by Harris Interactive(R) show that while the Federal Reserve is reporting that consumer spending has fallen in many categories due to a weakened U.S. economy and budget tightening, Americans are still willing to pay more for green products and services. The survey also indicates that 51% of adults polled agree that a politician's position on environmental issues is an important consideration in their voting decisions. The survey is the first in a series of green and sustainability consumer polls planned by SCA, a global leader in personal hygiene products, who was recently ranked as one of the greenest companies in the world. In the U.S. SCA, under the Tork brand name, produces tissue products including half the paper napkins used in U.S. restaurants, from 100% recycled paper. Under the TENA line, SCA produces the innovative TENA Serenity incontinence care products. "This study demonstrates that American consumers' interests in going green are more than just lip service or a passing inclination," said Thomas Wulkan, President of SCA Americas. "Consumers have recognized the challenges of global warming and are now ready to take individual responsibility to help reverse the negative trend. As the world's second greenest company, sustainability is an integral part of our corporate culture and it's clear that it is becoming a top priority in households throughout America." The study was conducted via a six-question online omnibus poll interviewing a nationwide sample of U.S. adults aged 18 years and over. Data was weighted to generate a representative sample of the total U.S. adult population. Key survey findings include the following: Americans Willing to Spend Money to Go Green Overall, 47% of U.S. adults agreed they would be willing to pay more for environmentally-friendly products. Specifically:
-- 64% of those surveyed said they would be willing to pay more for a hybrid car -- 63% indicated they would spend more for organic, fair trade, or locally sourced food -- 62% said they would dig deeper into their wallets for green/organic cleaning supplies -- 57% of those surveyed said they would pay the additional costs for products made from recycled materials What's more, the respondents said they were willing to spend an average of 17% to 19% percent more for each of these green products. The Green Influence in Politics and Business The environmental movement is having a profound impact on consumer perceptions related to politics and business:
-- 51% of all U.S. adults surveyed agreed that a politician's position on environmental issues is an important part of their voting decision -- 48% of all U.S. adults surveyed agreed that they make an effort to support businesses that use "green " products and/or environmentally friendly practices Women feel more strongly about the above issues then men -- 56% of women agreed that a politician's position on the environment was likely to impact their voting decision versus 46% of males. Similarly, females (52%) were more likely to strongly/somewhat agree that they make an effort to support that use green products and/or environmentally-friendly practices than the males surveyed (44%). Environmentally-Friendly Lifestyle Changes Most U.S. adults indicated they are willing to consider making lifestyle changes to support environmentally-friendly initiatives. The Poll found:
-- Almost all of those surveyed (97%) indicated they already recycle or are willing to consider recycling (52% already do; 45 % are willing to consider) -- 96% already do/are at least somewhat willing to consider buying materials made from recycled components -- 95% already do/are at least somewhat willing to consider using "green" materials in home/home improvement/construction projects -- 87% already do/are at least somewhat willing to consider paying for "green" energy (e.g., solar/wind power) -- 85% already have/are at least somewhat willing to considering the purchase of a hybrid car While consumers are in the early adoption phases of these lifestyle changes in many cases, their openness to these concepts is encouraging and SCA looks forward to following emerging behavioral trends in these categories in subsequent polls. Additional Survey Findings: U.S. Consumers' Growing "Environmental I.Q." The consumer knowledge base around the attributes that make products and services green or environmentally-friendly is surprisingly high. For example:
-- The top three ways U.S. adults determine if products or services are green or environmentally friendly are by: the ingredients listed on the product (52%), a third-party seal of approval/certification (50%), or a statement on the product indicating it is natural or organic (46%). -- The top four characteristics they believe make a product green or environmentally friendly are: biodegradable (81%), reusable/recyclable (81%), percent of recycled materials used to make the product (66 %) or organic (60%). -- Finally, they even have an understanding of the elements necessary to create a "green restroom:" energy-efficient light fixtures (85%), low-flow toilets (79%), toilet paper/tissue made of recycled materials (78%), hands-free water faucets/soap dispensers with sensors (67%) and hands-free towel dispensers with sensors (48%). Methodology Harris Interactive(R) fielded the study on behalf of SCA from April 10-14, 2008, via its QuickQuery(SM) online omnibus service, interviewing a nationwide sample of 2,511 U.S. adults aged 18 and over. Data were weighted to be representative of the total U.S. adult population on the basis of region, age within gender, education, household income, race/ethnicity, and propensity to be online. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated; a full methodology is available on request. About SCA and SCA Americas Employing more than 8,000 people in 30 locations, SCA personal hygiene products is a part of SCA, a $18-billion global consumer goods and paper company producing tissue, packaging solutions, publication papers and solid- wood products. With its U.S. headquarters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, SCA, under the Tork brand name produces tissue products including half the paper napkins used in U.S. restaurants, and manufactures the innovative line of TENA Serenity incontinence care products. SCA is also the sole supplier of sanitary paper products for The Philadelphia Eagles stadium. SCA has been ranked as the second most environmentally-friendly company in the world by The Independent, a major British newspaper, in conjunction with Ethical Investment Research Services (EIRIS), a leading non-profit provider of independent research into the social, environmental and ethical performance of more than 2,800 companies worldwide. SCA was the only paper manufacturer included in the top rankings. Rankings were based on a wide range of objective criteria, including business practices, environmental improvement initiatives, use of renewable energies and materials, and waste reduction and management. About Harris Interactive Harris Interactive is a global leader in custom market research. With a long and rich history in multimodal research, powered by our science and technology, we assist clients in achieving business results. Harris Interactive serves clients globally through our North American, European and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms. For more information, please visit http://www.harrisinteractive.com. Note to Media: Complete survey report available upon request.