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News Release

Survey of Consumer Awareness and
Actual Behavior in Relation to Environmental Protection
— Consumers Waiting for Chance to Contribute to Environmental Protection —

March 12, 2010

  • Only around 10% of consumers are negative about contributing to environmental protection and to society through the goods and services they purchase. More than half say they would contribute if no expense were involved.
  • Approximately 25% of consumers are keen to contribute to environmental protection and to society even if this involves some expense.
  • Consumers know little environmental terminology. Accordingly, companies should not rely on environmental jargon when designing the content of their products, campaigns, activities, etc.
  • In January 2010, The Japan Research Institute, Limited conducted an Internet survey among 2,060 men and women over the age of 18, from around Japan, entitled "Consumer Awareness and Actual Behavior in Relation to Environmental Protection". The survey also included questions relating to social contribution activities.

    Survey Outline

    Methodology: Internet research (using Macromill, Inc.'s "QuickMill")
    Area: Nationwide
    Target: 2,060 of Macromill Inc.'s 800,000 "Internet Monitors"; 206 male and 206 female respondents in the following age groups: 18-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60+)
    Period: January 16-17, 2010

    Survey Objective/Content

    The survey was designed to facilitate the effective implementation of the "environment"-based product development activities and campaigns that many industries and individual companies are pursuing. By questioning consumers directly, the survey sheds light on consumer interest in environmental issues and consumer evaluations of the environmental initiatives being pursued in various sectors and industries. The survey examined:
    - The level of interest in environmental issues among ordinary consumers
    - Experience of and/or intention to participate in environmental protection activities
    - The degree of influence that the three factors listed below have on consumer choice of goods and services and the kind of environment-friendliness and environmental initiatives that consumers expect
     (1) Environment-friendliness of goods and services
     (2) Environmentally friendly sales promotions and campaigns
     (3) Environmentally and socially oriented corporate stance

    Main Survey Findings

  • Awareness of terminology relating to environmental issues and social contribution is low.
  •  - More than 90% of respondents said they were either "Very familiar" or "Somewhat familiar" with the meaning of the terms "Recycling" and "Barrier-free". The ratio of respondents familiar with "Reuse" was around 53%, while the ratio familiar with "Emissions credit" was 31% and the ratio familiar with "Environmental report" was only around 13%.
  • Most respondents learn of companies' social contribution and environmental activities from advertisements or from TV and newspaper news, but around half learn of the activities from the goods and services themselves.
  •  - When asked how they learned of how companies are caring for the environment and contributing to society, around 66% of respondents cited "Product advertisements", around 54% cited "Corporate advertisements" and around 57% cited "TV and newspaper news and articles". Around 50% cited "Goods and services themselves".
  • Around 25% of respondents would be keen to participate in environmental protection and social contribution activities even if some expense were involved.
  • -More than 50% of respondents said they would be "Willing to make a contribution if doing so were easy and did not involve any expense", while around 24% said they would do so "Even if some expense were involved".
    - Approximately 20% of respondents said they had purchased goods whose price included a charitable donation, and half of those said they had been aware of the nature of the donation and made the purchase intentionally.
  • Whether or not respondents are conscious of the burden on the environment varies considerably between goods and services.
  • - The item of which respondents were most aware was "PET bottles", cited by around 62%. This was followed by automobiles, cited by around 39%, and household cleaners, consumer electronics, shampoo, canned alcoholic beverages and instant food products, all of which were cited by around 30% of respondents.
  • The kind and method of care for the environment that respondents expect differs between goods and services.
  • - The majority of respondents (50-70%) said they would choose environmentally friendly "Goods and services", "Campaigns" or "Companies" if the price were the same.
    - The kind of care for the environment that respondents expected differed according to the product or material. For instance, with regard to "Drinks in PET bottles" "Tissues and toilet paper", etc., respondents showed considerable interest in the materials used; with regard to "Household cleaners", respondents preferred products whose emissions created less pollution. Respondents also wished to see less packaging waste generated by processed food products such as "Instant food products" and "Snacks".

    For more information on the content of this report, please contact Megumu Murakami, the Japan Research Institute, Limited.

    Tel: 06-6479-5626

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