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Consumers, employees laud corporate ‘greening’

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More than half of global consumers and eight in 10 workers worldwide prefer to deal with environmentally responsible companies, a recent survey says.

The study, sponsored by Norwegian-American telepresence provider TANDBERG, interviewed 16,823 consumers in 15 countries to gauge environmental attitudes and behaviors.

Preference for products and services from corporations boasting a solid environmental reputation was strongest amongst consumers in China, Australia and Sweden, at 67 percent, 52 percent and 46 percent respectively, the report says.

Many European countries showed considerably lower levels of support, with Germany at 28 percent, Great Britain at 27 percent and France at only 23 percent.

In the U.S., 42 percent agreed, as did 34 percent of Canadians, setting both countries near the median of those surveyed.

“The findings clearly suggest a relationship between a company’s environmental reputation and its brand value,” TANDBERG CEO Fredrik Halvorsen says in a statement.

Those interviewed took their environmental views into the workplace as well, the survey says, with 12 percent overall calling on their employers to take the lead in reducing the impact of environmental change, and the highest levels of support for this measure coming from Germany, Italy and the U.S.

Respondents also rated the incentives they believe most likely to encourage their companies to go green, as well as the most effective greening measures for their particular workplaces.

Among possible incentives for environmental responsibility, more than one in three say government policies and subsidies would have the greatest impact.

Just over one in four cited the availability of environmentally-friendly technologies, and one in 10 cited the potential competitive advantage of a “green” reputation.

Employees cited recycling programs, reduction of water, waste and emissions, and the use of eco-friendly business materials as top options for affecting immediate environmental change in their workplaces.

“In addition to the ethical reasons for “going green,” there is a tremendous incentive for companies across the globe to focus efforts on environmental responsibility to attract customers, recruit and retain strong talent, and positively affect their external brand perception,” Halvorsen says.

The survey was conducted by British research firm Ipsos MORI and included respondents from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden and the U.S.

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