Despite variations across the Triad, consumer trends show a significant convergence among the United States, Northern Europe, and Japan. In all three markets, environmentalism has been internalized by business and has become a core component of corporate strategy. In all three, consumers also continue their ecological involvement, albeit with some downward fluctuations in recent years. A core group of greenest consumers is generally growing, although not necessarily organizing through political activism. As environmentalism becomes mainstream, environmental behaviors may shift toward everyday household activities rather than highly visible political action.
Environmental factors continue to affect brand-purchase decisions and company perceptions, but some ill-conceived, premature green claims made in recent years have led to a persistent skepticism concerning green advertising. Companies will need to base any communications about the environment on objective, quantified information about tangible programs and brand attributes (such as emission reduction targets and percent recycled content). Despite policy uncertainties and fluctuations in attitudes, companies with vision, structure, and market understanding will continue to use environmental performance as a key factor of competitive advantage, as many have already demonstrated across the Triad.
Advertising Age. 1993. Survey on Environmental Marketing, June 28, pp. S1–S6.
Cairncross, F. 1992. Costing the Earth: The Challenge for Governments, the Opportunities for Business. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.
Carra, J. 1993. EPA's Pollution Prevention Program Under the New Administration. Paper presented to the UNEP Conference on Business and the Environment, June 30, 1993 , New York.
Euromonitor Staff. 1989. The Green Consumer. London: Euromonitor Publications.
Gallup. 1992. Health of the Planet survey. Princeton, N.J.: George H. Gallup International Institute.
Green Marketing Institute (GMI). 1994. Green Consumer Index Survey of Japan. GMI Report. No. 11, February.
Louis Harris and Associates. 1988. Public and Leadership Attitudes to the Environment in Four Continents. Survey conducted for United Nations Environmental Program, New York.
Roper Organization. 1990. The Environment: Public Attitudes and Individual Behavior. Survey commissioned by S. C. Johnson & Son, July 1990. New York: Roper Organization.
Roper Organization. 1991. America's Environmental GPA. Survey commissioned by S. C. Johnson and Son, November 1991. New York: Roper Organization.
Roper Organization. 1993. Green Gauge Survey. New York: Roper Organization.
Roper Organization. 1995. Green Gauge Survey. New York: Roper Organization.
Schmidheiny, S. 1992. The Business Council for Sustainable Development, Changing Course: A Global Business Perspective on Development and the Environment . Pp. 102–103, 305–308. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
Simmons Market Research Bureau. 1992. Earth Calling: Is America Listening? New York: Simmons Market Research Bureau.
Stisser, P. 1994. A deeper shade of green. American Demographics. 16(3):24–29.
Wright, M. 1994a. The State of Europe's environment, 1994. Tomorrow 1:21–29.
Wright, M. 1994b. The way ahead for Germany, Britain and France. Tomorrow 4:82–90.