Beyond lip service: People want to support sustainable brands that produce visible change

(BPT) - More people than ever are seeking to direct their purchasing dollars toward purpose-driven brands with eco-friendly products. The problem is the term "green" is so common in marketing efforts, it's become hollow to consumers. People understandably want proof an organization is making worthwhile change, rather than just taking them by their word.

Research shows 68% of Americans try to make environmentally-conscious decisions in their day-to-day lives, with 64% working toward that mission by trying to purchase eco-friendly products, according to the “Meaning of Green” survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of bottled water manufacturer CG Roxane. Underscoring the desire for change, the survey found 61% of Americans believe that "companies should serve a greater purpose than just their bottom line" and 74% would rather buy products from a company actively improving the lives of the communities it serves.

While motivation is evident, research also shows consumers are jaded toward oversaturated marketing messages that lack real change: 71% of Americans believe companies claim to be sustainable even when their actions aren’t. In fact, results found 71% believe the term “green” is used so often it’s become meaningless. Over half (58%) said they struggle to find companies who live up to their “green” claims, and 66% said it can be too difficult to understand whether a company is truly eco-friendly.

Being a positive contributor to a circular economy

"There is a disconnect between what companies say and what they are doing," said Shawn Fitzpatrick, vice president of Marketing at CG Roxane. "Consumers are done with feeling deceived and want real action to support sustainability. Being a positive contributor to a circular economy is top of mind for many people."

Much of today's economy and manufacturing practices focus on a linear consumption of create, purchase, toss and repeat. A circular economy is an alternative framework that focuses on eliminating waste. Rather than ongoing consumption of finite resources, sustainable efforts such as recycling, eliminating pollution and protecting the natural environment are key.

More people than ever are aware of the negative impact of human consumption on the planet and want to be a part of the solution. In addition to trying to support companies making true change, consumers are willing to pay more for products from companies that take action to make the world a better place. In fact, the average survey respondent would be willing to spend 21% more than retail for a product if they could guarantee what they were buying was actually eco-friendly.

Companies taking real action toward a greener future

The bottled water industry is a great example of an opportunity for companies to make a positive impact with critical actions through manufacturing and recycling opportunities. Polyethylene terephthalate, or “PET,” is a plastic material, approved by the FDA and is used by many food and beverage companies because it’s safe, recyclable and durable. Recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) is a more sustainable, planet-friendly version of PET, one that has much less of an environmental impact on the planet. Since recycled PET comes from previously manufactured PET bottles, bottles are prevented from going into the trash and landfills.

CG Roxane is committed to closing the loop on sustainability. In 2021 CG Roxane — makers of Crystal Geyser® Alpine Spring Water — reached a minimum of 50% rPET content at their in-house West Coast bottling plants, with the goal of 100% rPET in packaging across the U.S. in the near future. Additionally, the company will this year reach the milestone of having planted 1 million trees through its partnership with American Forests, and has made the commitment to plant 1 million more.

In addition to prioritizing rPET, CG Roxane has made eco-friendly changes to the entire lifecycle of their products. Crystal Geyser® Alpine Spring Water® is the only major U.S. bottled water that is captured directly at seven authentic natural springs throughout the United States. This benefits the environment in the form of a reduced carbon footprint given the absence of trucks hauling water and the greenhouse gases they emit. Learn more at crystalgeyserplease.com.

"Many companies want to attract customers through smoke-and-mirror green claims, but only a few take real action and invest in change. You've got to do your homework and know what you are buying, and who you are buying it from. Putting your dollars where it counts really makes an impact, one person at a time," said Lionel Ferchaud CG Roxane vice president of Manufacturing.

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