If this latest survey is any indication, corporate executives and policymakers alike have a long way to go before they can convince consumers to jump on their 'green' bandwagons. A staggering 9 out of 10 consumers are skeptical about information propagated by companies and, to a lesser extent, governments concerning new, more environmentally friendly initiatives.
Whereas 40% of consumers distrust companies' global warming talk and a further 50% express doubts about their 'green' claims, a strong majority (60%) trust scientists and almost 50% also trust environmental groups such as Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace. Close to 70% of respondents also said they wanted to see action on climate change though an equal number wanted claims to be scrutinized by independent panels.Consumers International and Accountability, the organization that prepared the report, believes that government, businesses and the public need to work more closely together to resolve this credibility issue by ensuring that all corporate claims are independently verified and that all energy-intensive options are removed from stores.
"After government and industry, consumers are the third front in the fight against climate change. But to have any chance of making a difference, they must be fully supported by corporations and governments," said Richard Lloyd, director general of Consumers International and Accountability.
Yet businesses and governments weren't the only ones to suffer a credibility gap: only 22% of consumers trust religious authorities, 12% trust film stars and a further 17% trust the media.
The group surveyed 2,734 individuals in Britain and America for its report.