Thursday, 19 July 2012

India tops the National Geographic Society's 2012 greendex

What is Greendex?

Greendex is a quantitative consumer study with an objective of providing  regular quantitative measures of consumer behavior and to promote sustainable consumption.
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This is the fourth year that National Geographic society has partnered with Globescan to develop an international research approach to measure and monitor consumer progress toward environmentally sustainable consumption.

This quantitative consumer study of 17,000 consumers in a total of 17 countries (14 in 2008) asked about such behavior as energy use and conservation, transportation choices, food sources, the relative use of green products versus conventional products, attitudes toward the environment and sustainability, and knowledge of environmental issues. A group of international experts helped us determine the behaviors that were most critical to investigate.

The result: the 2012 National Geographic/GlobeScan "Consumer Greendex," a scientifically derived sustainable consumption index of actual consumer behavior and material lifestyles across 17 countries. We will continue to track the Greendex over time, including comparability across the selection of countries representing both the developed and developing world.

Overall Results:-

In their fourth survey that measures and monitors consumer behaviors that have an impact on the environment, the National Geographic Society and the research consultancy GlobeScan have found that environmentally friendly behavior among consumers has increased from 2010 in only five of 17 countries surveyed. Sustainable consumer behavior has decreased in nine. In only one country surveyed has environmentally friendly consumer behavior slipped below our 2008 baseline levels. So, while progress remains positive overall, some momentum has been shed in the past two years.
By environmentally friendly consumer behavior, we mean people’s transportation patterns, household energy, and resource use, consumption of food and everyday consumer goods, and what consumers are doing to minimize the impact these activities have on the environment.

“Greendex 2012: Consumer Choice and the Environment—A Worldwide Tracking Survey” measures consumer behavior in areas relating to housing, transportation, food, and consumer goods. Greendex 2012 ranks average consumers in 17 countries according to the environmental impact of their consumption patterns and is the only survey of its kind.

The top-scoring consumers of 2012 are in the developing economies of India, China, and Brazil, in descending order. Those in emerging economies continue to round out the top tier of the Greendex ranking, while the lowest scores are all earned by consumers in industrialized countries. American consumers’ behavior still ranks as the least sustainable of all countries surveyed since the inception of the study, followed by Canadian, Japanese, and French consumers.

The vast Greenery of India is due to the Himalayas belt of green mountains, captured above: one of the Himalayan ranges
Meanwhile, consumers in developing countries with the highest Greendex scores are the most likely to agree that they “feel guilty about the impact [they] have on the environment,” despite having the lightest footprint as individuals. The research finds a positive relationship between the extent to which people feel guilty about their impact and the Greendex scores of average consumers in the same countries. Consumers with low Greendex scores, i.e., those demonstrating the least sustainable behavior as consumers, are least likely to feel guilty about the implications of their choices for the environment.

However, the opposite is true when it comes to the extent to which people feel empowered to help improve the environment as individuals. Those with the lowest Greendex scores and the least sustainable patterns of behavior are, ironically, also those who most feel able to make a difference. Consumers in emerging economies feel relatively helpless in the face of environmental problems which are often more tangible there.

Consumers in countries such as Mexico, Brazil, China, and India tend to be most concerned about issues like climate change, air and water pollution, species loss, and shortages of fresh water—all factors affecting the planet’s ability to support life. Consumers in these large emerging economies are the most likely to report that environmental problems are having a negative impact on their health today. In contrast, the economy and the cost of energy and fuel elicit the most concern among American, French, and British consumers.

Consumers registering the largest 2012 versus 2010 increases in environmentally sustainable consumer behavior are the South Koreans and Germans, followed by the Spanish and Chinese. Consumers in the rapidly growing economies of India and Brazil, followed by Russia, have seen their Greendex scores decrease most since 2010. Between 2008 and 2010, consumers in eight of the 14 countries surveyed in all three years demonstrated year over year improvements. Of those, only Chinese and Hungarian consumers have extended the trend in 2012.
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Some specific findings from the four top areas of consumer behavior explored by the Greendex include:

  • Transportation
    -French and American consumers are most likely to report that they drive alone in a car or truck: 56 percent of French consumers and 55 percent of Americans say they do every day or almost every day. Chinese (20 percent) and Indian consumers (16 percent) are least likely to do so. Across the 17 countries surveyed, 36 percent say they drive alone regularly.
    -Americans are least likely to use public transportation: Only 7 percent say they use it every day or most days. Russians are most likely with 43 percent. On average in the countries studied, just 24 percent of consumers use public transportation daily or almost daily.
    -Americans are also least likely to bike or walk to their destination: Just 34 percent say they do so often or always. Chinese (73 percent) and Hungarian consumers (72 percent) are most likely to do so. Across the 17 countries in total, 58 percent say they walk or bike often or almost always. 
  • Housing
    -Spanish and German consumers are the most likely to say that they keep heating and cooling at low settings to save energy often or all the time (69 percent), with Americans and French consumers tied in second place with 67 percent. Russians are the least likely at 25 percent.
    -Brazilians and Germans are the most likely to report minimizing the use of fresh water often or all the time with 69 percent. Of the least likely, Americans are third from the bottom with 37 percent, followed by Swedes (29 percent) and Spanish consumers (27 percent).
    -Brazilians (80 percent) and Australians (70 percent) are most likely report washing laundry in cold water to save energy; Swedes (12 percent) and Russians (10 percent) are least likely to do so. In total, 48 percent of consumers in the countries surveyed say they do; Americans are about average with 51 percent.
  • Food
    -Argentineans eat the most beef: 61 percent eat it every day or several times a week, as opposed to 35 percent of Americans and just 9 percent of Indians. Globally, 28 percent of consumers eat beef every day or several times per week - one of the most environmentally intensive food sources.
    -Chinese consumers eat the most vegetables: 63 percent eat them every day, while just 37 percent of Americans do the same.
    -Chinese consumers also report the greatest increase in meat consumption over the past five years: 9 percent greatly increased and an additional 28 percent somewhat increased meat consumption. 
  • Goods
    -Just 22 percent of consumers globally say they try to buy things used or pre-owned instead of new. American consumers are among the most likely to choose used over new goods (31 percent), topped only by Swedes (32 percent).
    -Consumers most likely to recycle often or all of the time are Canadian (83 percent), British (82), German (81) and Australian (80). Worldwide, 61 percent of consumers recycle often or all the time. 69 percent of Americans report recycling regularly; South Koreans are least likely to recycle at just 29 percent.
    -95 percent of consumers worldwide report owning, renting or leasing at least one TV and 14 percent report households with four or more. 96 percent of Americans report possessing at least one computer and 96 percent say they have at least one TV.

TOP Five Nations regarding the sustainable lifestyle:-
INDIA                       - 58.9
CHINA                     - 57.8
BRAZIL                    - 55.5
HUNGARY              - 54.4
SOUTH KOREA     - 54.4

<compiled with source from natgeo>

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