Survey says: 'businesses don't understand green and clean'

Businesses are as confused as the average consumer when it comes to make decisions on cleaning their premises environmentally, according to a new survey.

Proctor and Gamble's (P&G) Business Cleaning Sustainability Study found 'green confusion' according to Ipsos Public Affairs who carried out the research.

The survey of American based businesses in the lodging, foodservice, health care and commercial cleaning industries found companies wanted to clean up their act when it comes to environmental responsibility.

But, according to the study a 'perceived' lack of information and 'credible resources' is holding business back.

Businesses were surveyed on their sustainability knowledge, product purchase decision-making process and cleaning habits to gauge perceptions, attitudes and behaviours about topics related to sustainability.

"This survey really hits home that while businesses want to be more sustainable and environmentally responsible, a lack of in-depth knowledge and structure is holding them back from achieving their goals," said Chris Vuturo, external relations manager, P&G Professional.

"In fact, when sustainability guidelines are not in place at a business, decision makers behave in similar ways to the typical consumer, where a personal sense of responsibility is the main driver.

"Countless green labels and varying definitions regarding what it is to be 'green' makes the process very confusing for purchasing managers and decision makers."

Overall survey highlights include:

A Lack of Guidelines: Less than a quarter of respondents reported that their business had sustainability guidelines.

Green Confusion: Nine out of 10 respondents believe sustainability and environmental responsibility is important for their business, but only 42% report being very or extremely well informed about the topic. In fact, one-third (33%) openly admit to being outright confused at some stage regarding what it means to be green.

Performance and Price Prevail: Despite interest in environmentally-responsible products, product performance (61%) and price (52%) are the top two factors impacting decision makers and their selection of cleaning products.

-Can Green Still Clean? For half the respondents, 'green' and 'effective' can go hand-in-hand, but for nearly one third (30%), these qualities were mutually exclusive (20% were unsure).

Luke Walsh


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