A recent study has revealed that nearly two thirds of consumers are more likely to buy a product if action is being taken to reduce its carbon footprint.
According to the survey, conducted by the Carbon Trust, 58 per cent of consumers value companies that are taking positive action and reducing carbon emissions.
This is good news for hard landscaping company, Marshalls Plc, which has placed carbon impact reduction at the top of its business priorities.
In 2008, Marshalls completed the carbon footprinting of products in its domestic range and worked with the Carbon Trust’s Carbon Labelling Company to officially label a total of 503 products - the highest number of carbon labelled products in the world by one company.
Consumers, however, are not confident that companies are doing enough to cut carbon emissions and tackle climate change. Only 12 per cent of those surveyed felt that enough is being done and just under half of the 1000 consumers surveyed called for help in making better choices on reducing their carbon footprint.
This is an issue that Marshalls is very conscious of. As a result of its own carbon labelling work, the company has called for more companies to label all their products, not just a select few, so that consumers can benefit from making informed choices.
Chris Harrop is Marshalls’ Group Marketing Director. He says: “The major challenge we originally faced with our carbon reduction efforts was apathy and the idea that one person’s efforts to confront climate change is wasted. The results of this survey show clearly that consumers are now much more aware of the environmental impact of their own consumption, particularly carbon footprints. However, it’s not good enough to simply label just a few products. Carbon labelling is about making comparisons. Consumers need to be able to compare the carbon footprints of different products, otherwise it’s like measuring against nothing.”
To further educate its customers, Marshalls also provides carbon product labelling information in brochures and online to empower them to make responsible decisions. Marshalls’ website (www.marshalls.co.uk) includes Marshalls’ Guide to Carbon Labelling as well as a carbon calculator.
The findings of the Carbon Trust study also revealed that more shoppers now understand what carbon labelling is and the overall concept of carbon footprinting.
Harrop continues: “A single methodology and defined labelling scheme across all industries is crucial to accelerating consumer confidence and support, and we will continue to challenge other companies to follow our lead. We need to be in a position where carbon footprints and carbon impact are considered as attentively as core business, even in the time of a recession.”
Marshalls’ carbon labelling programme is part of its Campaign for Better Landscapes, which calls for businesses and individuals to realise the social, economic and environmental benefits from creating better landscapes.
Marshalls recently won a Big Tick from the Business in the Community Awards in the Climate Change category, for its work on carbon labelling and carbon impact management. The company also received a major Commendation at this week's Business Commitment to the Environment (BCE) Environmental Leadership Awards