A Majority Of Consumers Want Businesses
To Increase Use of Renewable Energy
Certification Helps Businesses Build Credibility
When Making Claims, Study Finds
Center for Resource Solutions
Natural Marketing Institute
215-513-7300, extension 225
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (June 24, 2009)—Four out of five U.S. consumers support clean energy and 55 percent want companies to increase their use of renewable energy, according to a joint study released today by Natural Marketing Institute and Green-e® Marketplace, a program of the nonprofit Center for Resource Solutions. In the report, Unlocking the Power of Renewable Energy Certification to Build Credibility with Consumers, the majority of the 4,000 Americans surveyed agreed that businesses should reduce greenhouse gas emissions and that they are more likely to purchase products bearing a seal that proves corporate sustainability commitments, like buying or using renewable energy. The study also found that 60% of consumers want claims to be endorsed by a third party, and most prefer that the third party be a nonprofit organization.
“With more than half of consumers calling for businesses to use renewable energy, businesses can build consumer demand with highly regarded certification marks from trusted organizations,” said Gwynne Rogers, LOHAS business director at The Natural Marketing Institute. “For renewable energy use, Green-e Marketplace fills this role. The Green-e certification process is known for delivering quality renewable energy which helps protect companies from greenwashing claims.”
Green-e Marketplace is the only program that certifies the use or purchase of renewable energy and associated claims by businesses, non-profit organizations, events, educational institutions and government agencies. Participating organizations must use a qualifying amount of renewable energy in their day-to-day operations to meet program requirements. The Green-e® logo can be displayed on corporate and marketing materials and select products that use 100% Green-e Certified renewable energy in the manufacturing process. Over 230 consumer products currently display the Green-e logo.
Rogers continued, “Displaying the Green-e logo is one of the most effective ways for companies to demonstrate their use of renewable power to consumers, and our study shows over 20 percent of consumers are familiar with the Green-e logo.”
The study’s findings were released on the heels of exponential growth in the voluntary market for renewable energy. In 2008, U.S. businesses voluntarily purchased more than 11 million MWh of Green-e Energy Certified renewable energy. As U.S. businesses’ voluntary purchases continue to outpace mandated renewable portfolio standards, certification of renewable energy is increasingly important for building credibility and consumer trust. Green-e Energy certifies renewable energy products to ensure that the power generation occurs to meet voluntary demand and prevents double counting of the environmental attributes. With Green-e certifying over two-thirds of the renewable energy sold in the U.S. voluntary market today, it is a trusted choice and the only certification of its kind. Purchases of Green-e Energy Certified renewable energy qualify for green-building points from the U.S. Green Building Council and aligns with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership requirements.
“Increasingly, the public is questioning green claims made in the consumer marketplace,” said Arthur O’Donnell, executive director of CRS. “But, as indicated by recent Congressional hearings into green marketing practices, there is a clear and positive recognition of the benefits for businesses of relying on independent certification and labeling programs with proven standards, such as Green-e.”
About Green-e Marketplace and Center for Resource Solutions
Green-e Marketplace provides forward-thinking organizations with a simple, nationally recognized tool they can use to communicate their commitment to renewable energy to their customers and stakeholders. The Green-e logo is the nation’s leading symbol of renewable energy excellence and distinguishes Green-e Marketplace participants as environmental leaders. Green-e is the nation’s leading independent consumer protection program for the sale of renewable energy and greenhouse gas reductions in the retail market. Green-e is a program of Center for Resource Solutions (CRS), a San Francisco–based nonprofit with a global impact. CRS brings forth expert responses to pertinent climate change issues with the speed and effectiveness necessary to provide real-time solutions to ongoing environmental problems. CRS’s leadership through collaboration and environmental innovation builds policies and consumer protection mechanisms that foster healthy and sustained growth in national and international markets for environmental solutions to climate change including renewable energy and energy efficiency. To learn more, visit Center for Resource Solutions and Green-e Marketplace.
About Natural Marketing Institute
As a leading business consulting and market research firm, NMI assists a range of Fortune 500 and start-up companies across many types of industries, such as consumer packaged goods companies, retailers, nutritional ingredient suppliers, pharmaceutical companies, government, academia, associations, financial institutions and service organizations. By utilizing a diverse mix of proprietary strategic market development tools and methodologies—including qualitative and quantitative research—NMI provides its clients insightful market analysis and strategic planning surrounding new product opportunities, branding, communications, consumer target identification, sales strategy, and strategic business planning. Visit NMI online at www.nmisolutions.com.