WPP survey highlights concern about packaging

Packaging waste has replaced greenhouse gas emissions as the main concern for the UK, according to the latest Green survey conducted by a WPP consortium.

The findings of the 2008 ImagePower® Green Brands survey, carried out by WPP groups Landor Associates, Cohn & Wolfe, and Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates shows that despite prolific media coverage, only 15 per cent of the public now consider climate change to be the ‘most important’ environmental issue facing the country today.

This concern has been replaced by the amount of ‘waste generated by individuals or corporations’, with up to 24 per cent of respondents backing this claim.

And, the survey finds, the public is looking to companies to do more to ‘improve recycling and conservation’.

About 35 per cent of respondents believe brands should be taking the lead, compared with just 14 per cent who think action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions should be the main concern for companies.

Supermarkets have also replaced bodycare as the Greenest sector, says the survey.

Five of the top six companies ranked include grocers Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda.

In particular, M&S’s Plan A environmental strategy has propelled it to the number two spot, behind The Body Shop, which topped the list in 2007.

The mobile phone industry has fared the worst in the survey, with seven leading brands in the bottom ten of the rankings.

Travel is the second-worst rated category.

The survey findings:

  • 94 per cent think products, especially food, is over-packaged
  • Half are choosing products that use less packaging, or recycled packaging, in an effort to reduce waste
  • Six out of ten say they avoid plastic bags when grocery shopping
  • 75 per cent say that environmental buzzwords including ‘recyclable’, ‘renewable’ and ‘sustainable’ have a ‘strong’ impact on their purchasing decisions
  • One in three consumers is willing to spend more on Green products

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