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Green Consumers

In 2009 more than 50% of the global population were familiar with the term "carbon footprint" (38% in 2007), in Britain 96% were familiar with the term (Environmental Leader, 2009) and there is every reason to believe that consumers will perform a global driving force for sustainable development and market of goods produced in accordance with this principle.

A separate market segment of consumers preferring sustainable or green goods and services are identified as LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability).

Their consumer behavior is defined by their social and environmental responsibility values, these consumers concern about the environment, planet, social issues, health, human rights, relationships, fair trade, sustainable development practices and personal development. In general they are represented by relatively higher strata of society and well-educated segment (middle class).

According to Natural Marketing Institute (2007) LOHAS consumer segment constitutes 23% of U.S.’s population (compared to 4% in 1960) and 29% of Japan's population, about 80% of LOHAS consumers are willing to pay up to 20% more for green goods and services.

By 2020 the green practices will influence the choice already 66% of consumers from the U.S. (by forecast Mintel, 2009). Worldwatch Institute estimates the market share of goods and services in the LOHAS segment in U.S. as $355 billion which is approximately 30% of the U.S. consumer market (growing at 10% annually) and $546 billion of global market.

Most clearly distinguished segments with rapid growth are:

  • renewable energy
  • green building and restoration of ecosystems
  • alternative means of transport
  • organic food (agriculture)
  • eco-friendlyl products for home and office

Consumer behavior is changing, environmental regulation became more rigorous, investments are switching to more sustainable business model. Ability to take a close future (including green laws and consumer preferences for sustainable goods and services and business models) will be crucial for business competitiveness.

In other words either you are green or you could be forgotten.