Gen Y’s Eco-Attitude

Recent research tells us that, while the “Y” generation cares about the environment, it’s pretty middle-of-the-road about how greening impacts their purchase decisions.

According to the latest Maritz Poll, “Environmentally Friendly Retail Marketing—All Hype or Consumer Preference?,” Gen-Y shoppers (defined as being between the ages of 18 and 30 for the purposes of this survey) are split down the middle on influence of retailers’ environmental policies on their spending habits.

Of the 1,062 Gen-Y shoppers surveyed, less than half (46%) said they would shop at a retailer more if the retailer were to go green. The research also revealed:

Fifty-four percent said green doesn’t influence their buying decisions;

Nearly half (47%) said they would pay more for environmentally friendly services, products and brands;

Out of that half, the vast majority (77%) cited their concern for the environment as the reason they would pay more—with other qualifiers, such as “it’s the right thing to do” (21%) or “so that people know I’m environmentally aware” (2%).

According to Gloria Park Bartolone, division VP of St. Louis-based Maritz Research’s Retail Group, it was important to find out—particularly with all the hype surrounding environmental issues—what kind of influence green messaging had on customer loyalty, especially Gen Y.

“When it comes to determining marketing messages to reach Gen Y, this poll revealed some interesting facts for retailers,” she said. “While the majority wasn’t impacted either way by a store’s environmental stance, you can’t ignore that 46% of shoppers said they’d spend more with a retailer that was environmentally friendly. The percentage lends credibility to environmental messaging, which is only likely to gain more momentum with consumers in the future.”

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