One Green Score for One Earth – New Research Study Reveals Consumers Seek Score to Make Sustainable Buying Decisions

September 13, 2011

If you’re like most “green” consumers, you want to buy the healthiest products for your family and for the environment, but you get trapped in the maze of figuring out which products actually meet those criteria.  Now, two marketing firms have partnered to inspire consumers and retailers to create a better system for helping us navigate the shopping aisles.

100% Eco Friendly – According to whom?

Health and eco-consumers are interested in one universal green score to help them make sustainable product buying decisions, according to a new survey from shopper marketing and industry insight experts Ryan Partnership Chicago and Mambo Sprouts Marketing. The One Green Score for One Earth sustainability research white paper focuses on rating and scoring product sustainability as a means of sparking the conversation around standards for the industry.  The white paper reveals that shoppers would increase sustainable product spending if only they could determine which products were truly green and which had been simply “green-washed”. The research was not intended to create a sustainability scoring system, but to inspire stakeholders to come together to create it, as well as influence what a Sustainability Score might look like and how it could be communicated to deliver the information shoppers need to make confident sustainable product purchase decisions. It is their collective opinion that it’s not a matter of if a universal product sustainability score or a series of scores/standards will be established, but a matter of when. What would a sustainability score look like? What would shoppers want to know? How do they make sustainable product purchase decisions? What factors do they value and how do they weigh them? What should a product sustainability score measure? Shoppers responded loud and clear – no matter how invested they are in buying sustainability – a numerical score would be most useful in communicating product sustainability. While there is some interest in the other creative ways of displaying the information, three out of four consumers clearly prefer a number rating score. Three key sustainability market changes are predicted: 1. Shoppers will devote a larger share of their spending to products and stores that are able to convince them of their sustainability claims. 2. Shopper sensitivity to green washing (misleading shoppers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service) will intensify and consumers will demand an accurate way of understanding and comparing sustainability across products, companies and retailers. 3. Brands and retailers will increasingly focus on the triple bottom line (people, planet and profit–the key pillars that inspire sustainability), and strive to provide their customers with this sustainability information. One Green Score for One Earth is the first in a series of sustainability research white papers Ryan Partnership Chicago and Mambo Sprouts Marketing will publish to assist brand marketers and retailers in communicating sustainability to consumers.  The research project seeks to simplify and scale sustainability without losing its meaning or relevance, and includes a range of consumers in the study representing shades of “green” weighted towards “core” sustainability shoppers.  The study helps to identify which factors characterized as “sustainable” carry the most weight with these shoppers, as these elements have the highest likelihood of influencing purchase decisions and fostering comprehensive change.  To download a copy of the first white paper, click here. About the Partners Ryan Partnership Chicago is a leading expert in promotion, shopper and digital marketing campaigns for emerging and established consumer brands. The company’s creative professionals combine sound, strategic research and business acumen to create meaningful IDEAS that motivate purchase and loyalty among its clients’ products, services and customers. Ryan’s unparalleled expertise originates from its extensive, proprietary research that yields some of the industry’s deepest insights into consumers, categories, retailers, and shopper behavior. This knowledge is leveraged to consistently drive competitive market positioning and ROI. The agency is a creative powerhouse, recently tripling in size with its breakthrough ideas and campaigns for clients such as Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, GlaxoSmithKline, Energizer Personal Care, Bel Brands USA, and Chaco. Ryan Partnership Chicago is a part of Ryan Partnership, the largest independent marketing services company in North America and a subsidiary of D.L. Ryan Companies, Ltd. For a complete listing of services, please visit Mambo Sprouts Marketing, headquartered in Collingswood, New Jersey, develops and executes online, retail and direct mail promotions, and market research programs targeted at health, natural and organic products consumers. In existence since 1996, the company was created when its founders recognized the lack of educational materials and discounts available to health and natural products consumers. It has since grown into a full-scale marketing agency with programs that benefit health and eco consumers, manufacturers and retailers. Leading the health and wellness marketplace through its MamboTrack research data trends and insight, Mambo Sprouts Marketing is a respected resource throughout the LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health & Sustainability) industry. For more information, please visit