LONDON, March 12 /PRNewswire/ --

- Businesses Should Seize Opportunity to Demonstrate Green Credentials

New research from the Carbon Trust Standard shows that consumers still want to buy green despite the current economic climate, with 62% of consumers saying environmental concerns influence their purchasing decisions 'the same as a year ago' and just over a quarter saying they influence them 'even more' than in 2008.

The research shows that a business's green credentials have a significant impact on consumer buying choices. Two thirds (66%) of consumers say it's important to buy from environmentally responsible companies, with one in seven (14%) saying they have voted with their feet by deciding not to buy from a company based on their environmental reputation and almost a quarter based on a company's ethical reputation.

YouGov surveyed nearly 2,000 UK adults in late February 2009 on behalf of the Carbon Trust Standard, the world's first carbon award that requires an organisation to measure, manage and reduce its carbon footprint and actually make real reductions year-on-year.

As consumers increasingly scrutinise business actions on climate change, they want to see clearer, more credible information on what companies are doing to reduce their environmental impact. The research shows that 70% of consumers do not feel confident that they can clearly identify which companies are environmentally responsible. Six in ten consumers (59%) are sceptical about the environmental claims companies make, and 44% of consumers would like more information on what companies are actually doing to be environmentally responsible.

Harry Morrison, head of the Carbon Trust Standard, said:

This research shows that consumer values do not change, even in a middle of a recession. They want companies to act and cut their carbon footprints, and provide transparent and accessible evidence of action. We believe companies that take real action will seize the dual benefits of immediate cost savings and a stronger reputation, which is good for business.

Consumers look to a range of indicators to understand whether or not a company is environmentally responsible, but the most important criteria they rely on are what they read in the media (38%) and third party endorsement or accreditation (34%). The least popular factor consumers use to judge whether a company is behaving in an environmentally responsible manner is what advertising tells them (6%).

And it's not just businesses that are under the spotlight, people also expect to see evidence of action from public sector organisations - 81% feel it is important that public sector organisations tackle climate change and cut carbon, compared to 62% who believe it is important for all businesses.

Notes to Editors

- All figures are from YouGov Plc. The total sample size was 1,962 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 18-20 February 2009. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

- Businesses in a range of sectors have achieved the Carbon Trust Standard. These include BQ, Morrison's, Diageo and Hewlett Packard. first direct recently became the first bank to receive the Carbon Trust Standard after reducing its carbon emissions by over 14%, which equates to an annual reduction of 1500 tonnes of CO2 from 2007 levels. Getting employees on board with saving energy has been central to first direct's strategy. The bank introduced a green travel plan for staff and has worked with local schools to encourage employees to recycle. In its Leeds office, first direct has installed solar panels that produce enough energy to heat the bank's onsite crèche, which caters for over 350 children and is the largest of its kind in the UK.

The Carbon Trust Standard

- The Carbon Trust Standard is awarded to organisations that measure, manage and reduce their carbon footprint. Organisations that achieve the Standard are taking real action to reduce their direct impact on climate change.

- All businesses and organisations, both in the UK and internationally, are eligible to apply for the Carbon Trust Standard including FTSEs, mid caps, SMEs and public sector organisations.

- Organisations that are awarded the Carbon Trust Standard hold it for a two year period and to maintain the certification they must reapply and demonstrate that they have continued to make year-on-year reductions in their carbon emissions.

- Through a commitment to continually reduce their carbon footprint, Carbon Trust Standard achievers have together cut their annual emissions by 500,000 tonnes of CO2. This equates to nearly 7,600 tonnes saved per organisation. Carbon Trust Standard achievers have also saved themselves a collective fuel bill of more than GBP73m through reducing energy consumption.

- Organisations wanting information about getting the Carbon Trust Standard can call: 0800-019-1443 or visit

- Organisations that are certified with the Carbon Trust Standard are listed at:

The Carbon Trust

- The Carbon Trust is an independent company set up in 2001 by Government in response to the threat of climate change, to accelerate the move to a low carbon economy by working with organisations to reduce carbon emissions and develop commercial low carbon technologies.

- We cut carbon emissions now by providing business and the public sector with expert advice, finance and accreditation to help them reduce their carbon footprint and to stimulate demand for low carbon products and services. Through our work, we've already helped save over 17 million tonnes of CO2, delivering costs savings of over GBP1billion.

- We cut future carbon emissions by developing new low carbon technologies. We do this through project funding and management, investment and collaboration and by identifying market barriers and practical ways to overcome them. Our work on commercialising new technologies will save over 20 million tonnes of carbon a year by 2050.

For further information or interviews on the Carbon Trust Standard, please contact the Carbon Trust press office on +44(0)20-7544-3100 or