Wellington, June 4 NZPA - Most New Zealanders are dubious of claims by business to care about the environment, a new survey indicates.
In the survey of 500 people, carried out for advertising agency G2, 67 percent of those taking part believed most companies were not environmentally conscious and used the environment simply as a marketing tool.
While 80 percent wanted companies to tell people what they were doing about the environment, 42 percent did not believe companies when they said they were carbon friendly.
The Eye on New Zealand research was carried out by Australian company Sweeney Research and is used by G2, which is part of the worldwide Grey Global Group, to advise clients on marketing strategies.
G2 managing director Sarah Norrie said the research suggested most New Zealanders were confused about terminology dealing with sustainability.
Of those surveyed, 62 percent said they did not know if carbon credits and carbon offsets meant the same thing, and 51 percent thought carbon neutral and carbon friendly were the same thing.
Despite that, 62 percent were concerned about their carbon footprint.
"We can see we need to assist our clients to ensure their environmental practices are actively demonstrated to their customers and that products with environmental solutions are what consumers are looking for," Ms Norrie said.
"Clearly, based on these findings, there is an obvious disconnect and we need to ensure we work with our clients to ensure relevance and understanding in their marketing communications."
Among other findings of the survey, 31 percent of those taking part said they were "extremely" or "very concerned" about the environment. Only 3 percent are "not at all concerned".
Only 6 percent thought the environment would be a major issue in the next five years and 5 percent thought global warming would rear its head, G2 said.
Those two issues are well down the list of the major issues most people thought would be topical before 2013.
There were 54 percent who had changed the way they lived in the past 12 months to help the environment, and 41 percent would pay more for environmentally friendly products and services.
At the same time as 65 percent said they would look for a more environmentally friendly model when replacing their next car, 31 percent said they were sick of hearing about the environment.
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