Environmental Sustainability Index: Americans Are Willing to Pay More

Second annual Business of Sustainability Index reveals overwhelming public demand for environmentally friendly solutions as well as a widening trust gap

ATLANTA, GEORGIA, June 21, 2022 (Business Wire) – Despite high inflation, 66% of Americans and 80% of young Americans (ages 18-34) are willing to pay more for sustainable products versus less sustainable competitors, according to the second Business of Sustainability Index by GreenPrint, a PDI company.

However, 78% of Americans say they don’t know how to identify environmentally friendly companies, despite wanting to buy from them. To confirm a company’s environmental friendliness, 50% agree that clear language on products is important, and 46% say third-party or independent source confirmation is important.

Among those that shop for environmentally friendly products, 72% use labels or third-party certifications on the product’s packaging to confirm if it’s environmentally friendly.

“Americans are very clear—they want sustainable solutions and are willing to pay more for them, if only they knew how to find them,” said Pete Davis, CEO and Co-Founder of GreenPrint. “We are in the midst of a significant acceleration in public demand for sustainability, and companies that do not meet that demand will quickly fall behind their competitors, especially with young Americans.”

Growing Trust Gap Between Americans and Corporations

The study also revealed a significant trust gap between Americans and corporations when it comes to sustainability. Only 38% of Americans believe corporations most or all of the time when they make claims of environmental friendliness, a noticeable drop from 47% in GreenPrint’s 2021 study.

Overall, 41% say American corporations are doing a poor job at reducing their carbon footprint. When it comes to demonstrating an actionable commitment to becoming more environmentally friendly, 56% of Americans say airlines and fleet services are not doing well, followed by the energy/gas industry (48%).

“Over the past year, public trust in the authenticity and effectiveness of companies’ sustainability efforts has eroded significantly,” said Davis. “This puts businesses making genuine progress in a bind because their actions are less likely to be recognized. To win back trust, the data clearly shows Americans want companies to validate their sustainability claims through independent sources, both on the corporate level and for their products.”

Other key findings from GreenPrint’s second Business of Sustainability Index include:

  • 75% of Americans are concerned about the environmental impact of the products they buy.
  • 64% of Americans would be willing to pay more for gas if the carbon emissions from their purchases were offset through sustainability efforts, for Americans ages 18-34 this jumps to 75%; when the survey was conducted the national gas price average was $4.17.
  • 69% say a product’s environmental friendliness is important to their purchasing decision.
  • 70% agree climate events from the past year (wildfires, floods, air quality dangers, extreme heat, drought, etc.) have made them more likely to purchase environmentally friendly products. Of this group, 38% were not buying those types of products before, but recent climate events have encouraged them to do so.
  • 45% believe it’s hard to maintain environmentally friendly purchasing habits.
  • 73% would sign up for a company’s voluntary rewards or loyalty program if it helped reduce the carbon footprint of their purchases.
  • 64% would like to own a credit card that automatically offsets a percentage of the environmental impact of their purchases.
  • 60% are more likely to buy stock in a company that is environmentally friendly versus one that is not.

This index and its future editions will continue to track sentiment around sustainability in the economy—how climate consciousness impacts consumer preference and perceptions of companies and their products, as well as the overall effectiveness of the sustainability benchmarking ecosystem across various sectors and demographics.

About the Survey

This Xcelerant survey was fielded from March 7 to March 8, 2022, among a demographically balanced and nationally representative sample of 1,062 U.S. adults 18 years of age and older. To ensure consistent and accurate representation of the U.S. general population 18 years of age and older, data was weighted by the following variables: sex, age, geographic region, race/ethnicity, and education.

About PDI Technologies, Inc.

Professional Datasolutions, Inc. is now PDI Technologies, Inc.

With 40 years of industry leadership, PDI Technologies, Inc. resides at the intersection of productivity and sales growth, delivering powerful solutions that serve as the backbone of the convenience retail and petroleum wholesale ecosystem. By “Connecting Convenience” across the globe, we empower businesses to increase productivity, make informed decisions, and engage faster with their customers. From large-scale ERP and logistics operations to loyalty programs and cybersecurity, we’re simplifying the industry supply chain for whatever comes next. Today, we serve over 200,000 locations worldwide with solutions like the Fuel Rewards® program and GasBuddy, two popular brands representing 15 million monthly users. pditechnologies.com

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