Today on world environment day, The National Geographic Society launched its third Greendex, a report on the greenest economies worldwide. Surveying 17,000 people across 17 countries, the greendex measures consumer behavior in 65 areas relating to housing, transportation, food and consumer goods.
The emerging economies of India, Brazil and China have ranked amongst the top-scoring consumers of 2010 since the inception of the greendex three years ago. The three economies have also seen a steady increase in environmentally sustainable consumer behavior over the last three years. When asked, consumers from India, Brazil, China and Russia also said that the environment is the single most important issue facing their
country. Consumers in these economies are seen to be recycling and re-using more, use public transportation more, buy more locally produced foods, less packaged foods and live in more environment friendly and energy-efficient housing as compared to the developed world. Consumers in the industrialized economies of the US, Canada, France and Britain ranked amongst the worst on the greendex. In face, consumers in Germany, Spain, Sweden, France and South Korea have slipped on the Greendex.
While the survey results show that both cost considerations and environmental concerns motivated consumers to adopt more environmentally sustainable behavior over the past year, consumers in China and India were also more weary of exaggeration of the seriousness of the environmental problems. Chinese and Indian consumers said that some major barriers to them taking further action to protect their environments was – companies making false claims about the environmental impact of their products, individual impacts being nullified if governments and industries don’t take action and the perception that people in their country or other countries not doing their part.