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Chinese More Confident in Green than Americans

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 10:27am
JIM LANE, Editor & Publisher, Biofuels Digest

By JIM LANE, Editor & Publisher, Biofuels Digest

In China, a new survey released recently by DuPont found that 70 percent of urban Chinese consumers expressed confidence in the environmental claims of green products. A similar survey of North American consumers released in 2011 showed that 65 percent of Canadians and 60 percent of Americans were confident that green products are better for the environment.

In the DuPont “China Green Living Survey: Consumer Awareness and Adoption of Bio-based Products,” DuPont found that a majority of Chinese consumers are likely to purchase apparel, personal care, hygiene and household products made from bio-based ingredients that offer environmental benefits. These green products use ingredients that are composed of biological or renewable agricultural materials rather than synthetics, and are biodegradable. Since bio-based ingredients, such as enzymes, often replace petroleum-based ingredients, they help reduce reliance on non-renewable resources.

While just four in 10 surveyed said they are very or somewhat familiar with green products, most urban Chinese consumers agree on the factors that make a product green and accept that bio-based products meet the criteria. The findings also noted that higher income Chinese consumers were more familiar with and receptive to green products, as well as bio-based products.

Characteristic

Percentage Who Agree It Is Definitely or Likely Green

Contains recycled material

84%

Made from renewable materials

84%

Use less energy to produce

84%

Requires less energy to use at home                    

76%

Requires less water to use at home

74%

Use less water to produce

73%

“The survey demonstrates a growing awareness and desire among urban Chinese consumers for green products that offer sustainability benefits,” said Jeremy Xu, vice president, Global Sales and Applications, DuPont Industrial Biosciences. “Greater adoption of bio-based products in China could help the country reduce its energy intensity and carbon emissions, and advance a new era of green manufacturing.”

More than three quarters of the respondents said they would definitely or likely buy bio-based products in a range of categories.

Type of Product       

Percentage Who Definitely or Likely Would Buy

Detergents

82%

Personal hygiene products          

81%

Clothing

78%

Personal care products

77%

In the North American survey, about eight in 10 consumers said they would definitely or likely buy bio-based products if comparable on cost and quality than non-bio-based products. DuPont’s China survey also found that consumers are more apt than not to believe that bio-based ingredients improve the quality of a product. For example, more than 60 percent of consumers said that bio-based ingredients used in personal care products, personal hygiene and detergents would make the products better.

DuPont survey

China Market Ripe for Bio-based Product Growth

DuPont estimates that the market in China for bio-based ingredients used to make a range of commercial and industrial products is growing. Already in North America, there are more than 20,000 products made with bio-based ingredients, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which runs the BioPreferred Program to encourage the purchase and use of bio-based products.

“Just like the U.S., China has the opportunity to develop and promote products made with bio-based ingredients as part of a strategy to reduce petroleum consumption, increase the use of renewable resources, better manage the carbon cycle and help contribute to reducing adverse environmental impacts,” said Ron Buckhalt, program manager, BioPreferred Program, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Chinese consumers already can purchase a range of products made with bio-based ingredients. These include detergents that clean at lower water temperatures for reduced energy use, and personal care and cosmetic products that are made with naturally derived ingredients rather than synthetics. Manufacturers can respond to consumer preferences as well by utilizing bio-based enzymes that reduce water and energy consumption in the manufacturing process.

About the China Green Living Survey

The research is based on face-to-face, street-intercept interviews conducted this summer by Environics Research with 1,000 Chinese consumers in Beijing, Chengdu, Dalian, Huangshi, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Shanghai, Wuhan and Yinchuan — as well as Hong Kong.

What’s your take? Please feel free to comment below! Copyright 2012; Biofuels Digest

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