State of Green Business

Consumers in India, Brazil and China are the 'Greenest': Greendex Survey

Consumers in India, Brazil and China are the 'Greenest': Greendex Survey

For a second year in a row, consumers in India, Brazil and China scored the highest -- and those in the U.S., the lowest -- for green behavior among the countries included the Greendex survey conducted by the National Geographic Society and international polling firm GlobeScan.

The second annual Greendex survey canvassed 17,000 adults online in 17 countries this year to gauge consumer attitudes and their behavior.

The 296-page report on the survey results is replete with data in narrative form and in charts. It details consumers' self-reported behavior in four major areas -- goods, food, transportation and housing -- as well as participants' responses to 22 questions about their beliefs and values regarding environmental issues.

Here's a sample of the questions, which sought responses on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning "strongly disagree" and 5 meaning" strongly agree:

• "I feel guilty about the impact I have on the environment." Consumers in India felt the most guilt, those in Brazil were next in line and Mexican consumers were third. German consumers felt the least guilt, with Japanese consumers being first-runner up on the guilt-free end of the spectrum and Canadian respondents, second runner up.

• "Owning a luxury car is a very important goal in my life." Interestingly, the lineup by country for consumers who strongly agreed to that statement mirrored the roster for the guilt question: Consumers in India, Brazil and Mexico placed first, second and third, respectively, regarding their desires for a status car. Consumers in Canada expressed the least interest in showy wheels, followed by those in Germany and Hungary, respectively.

According to the overall findings, the greenest consumers from the top down were:
• Indians
• Brazilians
• Chinese
• Argentineans
• South Koreans
• Mexicans
• Hungarians
• Russians
• Spanish
• Germans
• Swedes
• Australians
• French
• British
• Japanese
• Canadians
• Americans

Argentina, South Korea and Sweden were new to the survey this year. Among the counties included in the poll last year, consumer responses in 13 of the 14 showed an increase in environmentally conscious behavior this year. Only consumers in Brazil reported slight drop in green behavior, which moved the country to the No. 2 spot on the list.

The full report on the survey results can be downloaded here as a pdf file.

More information on the Greendex survey as well as an interactive Greendex Calculator to measure your behavior and a quiz of your knowledge on environmental issues are available here:

Image CC licensed by Flickr user Eleventh Earl of Mar.