Green enthusiasm fades as shoppers get closer to counter, Panasonic research shows

Australian shoppers’ green intentions largely fade by the time they reach the cash register, according to a study released today by Macquarie University.

The study, commissioned as part of the Panasonic Chair in Environmental Sustainability initiative, found there is a weak link between intent to purchase eco-friendly products and actual purchasing decisions. You can download an executive summary of the report here

Here is footage of Panasonic Managing Director, Steve Rust and Panasonic Chair in Environmental Sustainability, Professor Tim Flannery discussing the findings of the study.


The study found while 75 per cent of consumers considered environmental features ahead of buying goods, only 20 per cent actually purchased goods with eco credentials.

The study looked at purchasing behaviours across key electronics categories – including televisions, air-conditioners, washing machines and digital cameras. Some 2,000 consumers were surveyed as part of the study.

Professor Tim Flannery, Panasonic Chair in Environmental Sustainability, Macquarie University, said getting consumers to buy green, as well as think green was critical to improving environmental outcomes.

“Awareness of environmental issues is extremely high and our next challenge is to turn that into everyday action,People are going to continue to purchase and use products such as consumer electronics and need to make sure they’re making the best possible decisions.”
Professor Tim Flannery, Panasonic Chair in Environmental Sustainability, Macquarie University


Here is Steve Rust discussing the findings of the paper:


Other key findings from the study included:

– Eco features accounted for only between 11-20% of purchase intent, depending on the type of product being considered.

– Eco purchasing intent most strongly mirrored purchasing behaviour in sales of household appliances such as washing machines, while the link was weakest in sales of home entertainment products like televisions.

– Eco features were most valued by younger (18-24) and older consumers (over-55), while they were much less valued by those in the 33-44 age group.

Panasonic estimates that it is possible to reduce CO2 emissions from a household by 65% in three-to-five years by increasing the energy efficiency of devices and reducing the power consumption of the entire house1.

“The message just isn’t translating into action. Consumers are making all of the right noises but at the end of the day they just aren’t buying green – at least with consumer electronics.The single best thing we can do to encourage more businesses to adopt better environmental behaviour is to make it more commercially attractive. We simply have to work out what is stopping consumers from buying green and overcome it.”
Steve Rust, Managing Director, Panasonic Australia.


Mr Rust said the study would be presented to Panasonic’s global executives by Professor Flannery later this year and used to develop product and marketing strategies for Australia and other markets.

In January, Panasonic showcased a range of new products that created energy (household fuel cells and solar power generators), stored energy (household Lithium-Ion battery systems), saved energy (LED lighting and energy efficient Plasma televisions), and managed energy (Smart Energy gateways) at CES in Las Vegas. The company also previewed its latest electric vehicle (EV) technologies including car battery systems and an EV charging station which contribute to realising a green lifestyle driven by EVs.

The company was also named as one of the most Sustainable Companies in the World at the recent World Economic Forum.

More information on Panasonic’s environmental initiatives can be found here

1 CommentLeave a comment

  • I suspect “green” counts more when it refers to money than when it refers to the environment. People only ever do the easiest thing (or cheapest).