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Prompted by Economic Downturn, Going Green is Going Strong

Submitted by: Hartman Group, The

Categories: Sustainability, Research, Reports & Publications

Posted: Jan 21, 2009 – 11:00 PM EST


As the forecast for the economy remains gray, a new report sheds light on how consumers find the silver lining by living responsibly.

BELLEVUE, WA. - January 22, 2009 - While consumers report reeling in their spending habits to offset the effects of a weakened economy, many are still putting money towards purchases that give them hope for the future according to a new report, Sustainability: The Rise of Consumer Responsibility, by leading consumer behavior specialists The Hartman Group. More than three-fourths of consumers consider environment and social aspects at times in making purchase decisions and one-third are willing to pay more for that benefit.

"During these tough economic times, sustainable products create that 'sweet spot' that make consumers more optimistic about the choices they are making," said Alison Worthington, Hartman Group Managing Director of Sustainability. "In many ways, the term sustainability has become synonymous with responsibility for consumers or just "doing the right thing"."

Fielded at the onset of the current economic downturn, Sustainability: The Rise of Consumer Responsibility offers insight into the negative outlook consumers have for the economy and the positive outcome they feel will result by making sustainable purchase decisions.

According to the report, 88 percent of consumers define themselves as participating in sustainable behaviors. A nearly equal number of consumers believe their purchase decisions (37 percent) matter as much as their votes (45 percent). Yet, less than 25 percent of consumers can name a sustainable product. "This represents a significant opportunity for companies to get their message out," Worthington said.

As consumers continue to adapt to today's economic climate, they are broadening their expectation of sustainability beyond the cliches of "green" and "environment" to include a deeper understanding of topics relating to individual as well as corporate responsibility that is reinforced by their purchase decisions.

"Many consumers feel economically empowered by their sustainable practices and with every swipe of the debit card they are increasingly selective about which companies and products they will back. Often, sustainability is the tie breaker vote in a consumer's decision," said Laurie Demeritt, President and COO, The Hartman Group.

About the Report

Sustainability: The Rise of Consumer Responsibility is the definitive roadmap plotting consumer behavior and purchases in the new culture of sustainability and adjusting to new economic realities. The report examines consumers' evolutions, adoptions and aspirations in the environmental and social values marketplace and offers insight into key product categories tied to economic, environmental and social responsibility objectives and long-term sustainability strategic planning. Information about how to obtain the full report is available at

About The Hartman Group, Inc.

The Hartman Group, Inc. is one of the most influential, respected and trusted providers of consumer insight and understanding in the U.S. The Hartman Group is a full-service market research and strategic consultancy specializing in understanding consumer lifestyle behavior and how that behavior leads to purchase. For the past 20 years, companies have relied on The Hartman Group to produce highly successful outcomes across a range of challenging research objectives in health and wellness, sustainability, branding, retailing and many more business arenas.

For more information, please contact:

Alison Worthington The Hartman Group
Phone: 425-452-0818 ext. 161
Phone 2: 425-452-0818
Blaine Becker The Hartman Group
Phone: 425-452-0818 ext. 124
Phone 2: 425-452-0818


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