United States of Sustainability
A new report by ARRIS Composites reveals Americans’ knowledge and opinions on sustainability and sustainable practices.
The United States of Sustainability: 3 in 4 Americans Prefer To Buy Products From Environmentally Minded Companies
With this year’s signing of the Inflation Reduction Act, more eyes are on sustainability. Here at ARRIS, the topic is top of mind. Our Sustainable Products Program is dedicated to breaking new ground in product performance and corporate sustainability across several industries—we care, our customer care, and there’s still a lot of work to be done. We recently surveyed 1,000+ Americans to learn more about their sustainable practices and what they’re looking for in companies and manufacturers of the future.
Sustainability Knowledge Among Americans2>
When it comes to understanding sustainability, most Americans (93%) know what greenhouse gasses are, and, 95% understand what a carbon footprint is… Because of this, many want to see sustainability at the forefront of companies. 1 in 4 Americans will only buy products from companies with sustainable missions or practices. Additionally, 3 in 4 say they prefer to buy products from companies that are environmentally conscious.
One-third of Americans check to see if a company has sustainable practices before buying or using their products and nearly half (45%) will reconsider buying from a company that doesn’t have any sustainable practices. Additionally, 52% are willing to pay more for a product from an environmentally conscious company, and 70% say sustainable manufacturing is important to them.
Climate change is also a topic many Americans are paying attention to… 81% are worried about the potential impacts of climate change. The most common steps people are taking to minimize their impact include recycling (70%), reducing energy use (64%), shopping second-hand (43%), walking or biking instead of driving (43%), and cutting out meat and dairy (28%). These steps are something the majority of Americans may consider taking, as 59% believe as an individual they can make a difference in limiting climate change.
Sustainability Searches Across The U.S.
We also wanted to know what topics Americans have the most questions about regarding sustainability. In order to find out, we analyzed the most popular Google searches across the country regarding sustainability. Common topics included climate change, clean energy, carbon footprints, global warming, and sustainable practices. Nationwide, the top searches were 2030 agenda, sustainability definition, ‘what is climate change’, sustainable clothing brands, and ‘what are fossil fuels?’. The 2030 agenda is a blueprint for people and the planet set up by the United Nations General Assembly to promote peace, sustainability, and prosperity now and into the future.
Sustainability Searches By State
In Arizona, the most common search was ‘sustainable landscaping’, in North Carolina and North Dakota people wanted to learn more about sustainable agriculture. In Arkansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Wyoming people were looking for information about companies that have sustainable practices or where they can find sustainable products.
Other common questions were around clean energy. People in Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Utah, and Washington all wanted to know more about renewable, clean or green energy.
When it comes to talking about carbon footprints, in Connecticut, Delaware, and Nebraska, the top search was ‘what companies are reducing their carbon footprint?’ Meanwhile, people in Iowa, South Dakota, Tennessee, and West Virginia wanted to know more about an individual’s carbon footprint.
Sustainability Searches By City
Aside from state-by-state searches, we also wanted to know more about specific sustainability-related questions in the nation’s top 10 largest cities.
In New York, people were searching for information on sustainable fashion, while people in Los Angeles wanted to know more about sustainable development. In Phoenix, people were looking for the ‘most environmentally conscious companies, and in San Jose, the top search was ‘green design’. People in Chicago wanted to know ‘what is carbon offset gas?’ and in Dallas, the top search was broader, with people wondering: ‘what is climate change and its effect?’
Living sustainably may seem daunting at first, but it looks like Americans are ready for the task by how much they’re Googling about it. Remember, you don’t have to go from zero to 100 in seconds. Being environmentally friendly can start with simple steps like being more conscious about recycling. Start with something straightforward and uncomplicated, and know you’re helping the earth in the long run.
Check out other surveys: America’s Interest in Virtual & Augmented Reality + America’s Best Biking Cities
Methodology + Media: In September 2022, a survey was conducted with 1,048 people from across the U.S. The average age was 39-years-old with 49% identifying as male, 48% as female, and 3% as non-binary or transgender.
For this report, we also analyzed the most disproportionately popular Google search terms related to sustainability from August 2020-July 2022. We compared each state and city’s search results to the national average in order to determine which search term has a higher search volume when compared to the national average. This method of analysis allows us to even the playing field between smaller states with lower populations or a lower search volume (such as Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, etc.) and states with a large population with higher search volume (California, Texas, Florida, etc.).
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