Greenhouse Canada

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Only 37% will pay more for eco-friendly products


April 19, 2011
By Amanda Ryder


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NEWS HIGHLIGHT

Only 37% will pay more for eco-friendly products

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.

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.

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"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."