Only 37% will pay more for eco-friendly products

April 19, 2011
April 19, 2011 - A Leger Marketing indexed survey commissioned by Cascades finds that most Canadians recognize the environment as a priority, and the vast majority of the country integrates simple green actions into their day-to-day life. Even though there is continuous improvement in Canadian attitudes towards a sustainable development approach, there are still some major economic and lifestyle barriers that Canadians are not willing to cross. Canadians say that they are very good at the environmental basics, with 90% claiming to limit their use of electricity, and 89% of us recycling, but only 37% are willing to pay extra for products that are more environmentally friendly.

Setting a national environmental policy platform can definitely be a challenge to any political party as Canadians are extremely fractured when it comes to ecological priorities. Quebec's main concern is greenhouse gas emissions, energy issues worry Ontario, the Atlantic provinces and BC, while the prairie provinces focus on water management.

"We are delighted to see that Canadians are thinking about the environment, and are taking the right steps to reduce their ecological impact in the homes" said Suzanne Blanchet, President and C.E.O of Cascades Tissue Group. "Environmentally responsible actions at home significantly increased compared to 2010 and Canadians should be praised for that, but there is so much more that all of us can do. We challenge all Canadians to find their environmental inspiration this Earth Day and commit to making simple green actions that can make a difference not just for one day, but for the rest of their lives."

Here are some more interesting facts from the Cascades Index:

Canada needs more environmental heroes

  • David Suzuki is fairly beloved with Canadians, 36% of us did name him as the public figure that most evokes the environment, but almost 40% couldn't think of anyone!

Trust and suspicion

  • Encouraging signs of improved Canadian attitudes toward the environment can be found - only 45% of Canadians are tired of being lectured to by environmentalists, down from 52% in 2010. Perhaps recent environmental disasters have made Canadians more receptive to messaging of various environmental groups.
  • The Prairie Provinces are by far the most mistrustful of various environmental claims - over 50% (67% in Saskatoon) are tired of being lectured to by environmentalists. People in the Prairie Provinces are also significantly more likely to think that global warming is actually good for Canada as well.

A reputation is a hard thing to shake

  • British Columbia has been coasting on their reputation as Canada's greenest province for a while now, as a quarter of Canadians believe it is the most ecologically responsible province. In reality Quebec is the most environmentally active province, and yet barely 7% of Canadians voted for them.
  • Saskatchewan in almost all metrics comes out as an environmental Grinch, falling to last or near last in most environmental categories, with 20% of Saskatchewan residents believing that global warming is actually good for Canada.

The environment in the grocery store

  • When out shopping seven Canadians out of ten (73%) say that eco-friendly statements like "ecological footprint" and "sustainable development" are important when they select a product.
  • Every province but Quebec thinks that "biodegradable" is the most important ecological certification, while La Belle Province believes that "local" and "green" labels are equally important.
  • Long live the grocery bag only 2% of Canadians do not have any reusable bags, while 4% have so many that they have stopped counting them. On average, Canadians have nine reusable grocery bags in their house or car!
  • Six out of ten Canadians are greatly or somewhat influenced by the environmental steps taken by a manufacturer or merchant in their decision to buy or not to buy a product.

Recycling rules

  • One Canadian out of five (21%) believes that putting recyclable or compostable materials in the selective recycling bin is the gesture that has the greatest positive impact on the environment. Limiting the use of fertilizers and pesticides is a distant second at 14%.
  • Canadians are also increasingly tired of over-packaged products (88%) and are demanding more recycling containers in public settings (a 5% increase to 83%).

"We are very encouraged to see that Canadians realize the importance of recycling all materials," said Suzanne Blanchet, President and C.E.O of Cascades Tissue Group. "However, if you believe in the important environmental role of recycling, then you should support it further by purchasing products made from recycled materials. We are delighted to see that 65% of Canadians buy paper products made from recycled fibres, and we urge all Canadians to experience the amazing products created from all of the recyclable materials we are throwing away."

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