Consumers across the globe show improvement in eco-friendly habits


Greendex consumer ratings place India shoppers on top and US consumers at bottom


Environmentally-friendly behaviour has increased in ten countries in the past year, according to an international survey of consumers in 17 nations.


The third annual survey of its kind by National Geographic Society and polling firm GlobeScan looked at the behaviour of 17,000 consumers in 17 countries, analysing their impact on the environment, their transportation patterns, household energy usage and their consumption of everyday consumer goods.


GlobeScan chief operating officer Lloyd Hetherington said: “Sustainable lifestyles are clearly starting to enter the mainstream despite recent economic challenges. The year-on-year improvements we are seeing in many countries suggest that consumers are increasingly open to greater engagement with environmental issues.”


The study also took into consideration how consumers were acting to minimise their environmental impact, with those from the USA ranking the least sustainably-minded from all countries that took part in the survey.


According to the report, environmentally-friendly consumer behaviour in 2010 has increased from 2008 levels in all but one of the 14 original countries polled.


Greendex 2010: Consumer Choice and the Environment-A Worldwide Tracking Survey took into account 65 areas relating to housing, transportation, food and consumer goods, and placed consumers from the developing economies of India, Brazil, China and Mexico in the top four nations.


National Geographic executive vice president of Missions Programs, Terry Garcia, remarked: “Over time, the Greendex will be vital to tracking changes in sustainable consumption at the global level and within specific countries. In the short term, our hope is to encourage sustainable consumption by vastly increasing consumer awareness.  While I’m encouraged by improvements worldwide, there remains an urgent need for people everywhere to look at how their behaviour is affecting the environment and to minimise their environmental footprint.”


The 2010 survey revealed that the biggest barriers for consumers in adopting environmentally-sustainable behaviour was corporate greenwashing, which was identified by 44% of those surveyed, while the financial cost of making an effort was noted by 31% of participants.


Greendex Consumer Ratings 2010 – Top 10 Nationalities


62.6 (2010)
59.5 (2009)
58.0 (2008)



58.0 (2010)
57.3 (2009
)58.6 (2008)



57.3 (2010)
56.7 (2009)
55.2 (2008)



54.8 (2010)
53.8 (2009)
52.7 (2008)



54.2 (2010)
54.7 (2009)
(2008 – N/A)


54.2 (2010)
52.0 (2009)
51.1 (2008)



54.1 (2010)
53.3 (2009)
51.7 (2008)


South Koreans

52.8 (2010)
54.6 (2009)
(2008 – N/A)


50.7 (2010)
51.1 (2009)
(2008 – N/A)



50.4 (2010)
51.4 (2009)
48.0 (2008)


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