1997: BIG YEAR
FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
Ever heard of a True-Blue Green? How about a Basic Brown? These are two of the population segments identified and tracked by Roper Starch Worldwide in their annual Green Gauge environmental poll. In, a significant change occurred in the public's views about the environment, as the numbers of those who are concerned and active (including the True-Blue Greens) grew significantly, while those who don't care about the environment (i.e. Basic Browns) became fewer in number and dropped by one third in .
Green Gauge is an annual in-person poll of 2,000 adult Americans conducted by Roper, and sold by subscription to clients. It has been conducted each year since , but also builds upon Roper data on the environment that go back as far as 25 years. Some of the key findings in included:
Roper is now gearing up for the Green Gauge, and subscriptions are available. Participants receive a complete executive report, all the cross-tabulations, an environmental perspective on their industry and their organization, as well as a presentation of the results to an audience of their choice.
- Large jumps in the amount of environmental activity such as recycling and making purchasing decisions based on the environmental record of products. In general, most environmental behaviors increased 3 to 8 percent from '96 to '97. Further gains are expected in 98.
- Continued growth in the support for cause-marketing programs that benefit the environment at the local level. The environment is not often the driver of purchasing decisions, but there is a huge downside of being perceived as bad for the environment.
- Heightened concern about the environment, as it has recovered from a minor backlash during the early and mid-1990's when a recession, and a sense of "we took care of the environment by electing Clinton and Gore," tended to lessen anxiety about the health of the environment.
- Growing support for technological solutions to environmental problems, but not a high willingness to pay for improved technology.
- Air and climate issues top the environmental agenda of the public, reaching all-time highs in 1997.
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