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CEA: Consumers don't trust green claims

50% think companies are exaggerating green credentials

More than half of consumers think companies exaggerate their green credentials in a bid to encourage purchases, says the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

Steve Koenig, director of analysis at CEA said that almost 40 percent are also confused by green claims made by consumer electronics companies.

"So, in addition to confusion we have a lot of scepticism, in fact a healthy dose of it," he said.

"They want to know what it is in the box or in the product that's going to make it green."

According to the CEA, the top three attributes consumers associate with green products are recyclability, energy efficiency and the fact that products are made with recycled materials.

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"Interestingly enough, green features are trumping brand," Koenig said.

That means a brand that consumers are unfamiliar with, but has good green credentials, could beat out a well-known company that consumers know aren't as environmentally friendly.

Research by the CEA showed that 45 percent of women and 34 percent of men claim a company's reputation and philosophy regarding the environment impacts their decision to try its products for the first time, and a similar percentage of consumers say the same regarding their willingness to continue using a company's products, according to the CEA.

Other attributes - such as price, features and warranty - are still significantly more important than environmentally friendly attributes.

Also, a little more than half of consumers surveyed are willing to pay a premium for green products, just like they are willing to pay more for hybrid vehicles and organic produce, according to Koenig. Over 10 percent are willing to pay up to 15 percent more for an environmentally friendly product.

"The take-away here is that green is increasingly important to consumers and they're willing to pay for it," Koenig said.

See also: Motorola phone made from recycled plastic bottles


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