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Green Electronics Buyers on the Rise, Research Shows

About 25 million Americans, or 12 percent of the population, are "bright greens:" buyers absolutely willing to spend more for environmentally friendly electronics, or for products that come from a green company.

Another 41 percent, about 90 million people, make up the green consumer group: they are concerned about environmental issues but aren't yet willing to pay extra for a green product.

Those are the findings of a new study from Forrester Research. "In Search Of Green Technology Consumers," surveyed 5,000 adults about their green concerns and beliefs when it comes to electronics products.

The remaining 47 percent of the population are "non-greens," not concerned about the environment or global warming, and not willing to pay more for energy efficient products.

Christopher Mines, senior vice president for research at Forrester, said the findings show that the market is ready for the perfect green product: "The green leadership position is open: Which manufacturer will create the iconic 'Prius' product in consumer electronics?"

Green consumers are already flocking more to some computer manufacturers than others: Apple boasts the highest number of green consumers, with 17 percent of bright greens. In second place is the HP brand Compaq, with 13 percent of bright green. These numbers may have less to do with computer makers than computer buyers, as a report from Net Applications finds that Apple has highest penetration in blue-state markets like Hawaii, California, New York and Vermont.

Manufacturers have already begun making products to reach the green market, partly to tap into the buying power and evangelism of bright greens, but also to meet government regulations and reduce companies' overall environmental footprint. But as of now, the industry is still waiting for its moment in the spotlight.

"All the green efforts of consumer technology manufacturers so far have been one-size-fits-all," Mines said. "They are not targeted at a particular segment of consumers, but apply across the board to a company's products, manufacturing, and supply chain. We fully expect green technology consumers to further emerge as a target segment for style-conscious electronics manufacturers as the industry moves beyond beige-box design."

The full report from Forrester, "In Search Of Green Technology Consumers," is available for $279 from

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