2011 Sustainable Living Survey Fielded by L'Oréal USA Reveals Changes in Attitudes, Behavior and Consumption Are Slow to Come

Apr 20, 2011 4:00 PM ET

(3BL Media / theCSRfeed) New York, NY - April 20, 2011 - Although Americans are willing to take modest steps to protect the environment or conserve energy, according to the 2011 Sustainable Living national telephone survey conducted March 27, 2011 by L’Oréal USA and ORC International, shifts in attitudes and more eco-conscious behaviors are slow to come, particularly among mature segments of the population.

“L’Oréal is committed to being among the most exemplary corporations of the 21st century in the sustainability of its business,” said Pamela Gill Alabaster, Senior Vice President Sustainable Development for L’Oréal USA.  “An understanding of consumer attitudes toward sustainable products and lifestyles is important as we aim to double our consumer base to two billion by 2020, while at the same time significantly reducing the company’s impact on the environment.”  

Conservation and Reducing Carbon Footprints
Among the most regular practices that Americans take to conserve energy at home include:
  • 96% turn off lights in rooms that are not occupied

  • 73% have switched to compact fluorescent light bulbs

  • 71% power down computers when they are not in use

  • 67% adjust their thermostats in the winter/summer

The most common action that Americans are willing to take to reduce their individual carbon footprint is to recycle and reuse products (93%). However, only 46% of individuals who responded to the survey are avid recyclers and 24% of respondents indicated that they only recycle products in their kitchen.  Earlier this month, the L’Oréal-owned Garnier brand announced a US partnership with TerraCycle to provide consumers with a comprehensive recycling solution for product packaging that cannot be disposed of in municipal waste streams. TerraCycle collects post consumer waste through mail-in programs and recycles and upcycles empty personal care product packaging waste into new consumer products.   Green Purchasing Behavior
With regard to the green purchases, fewer than 25% of survey respondents said they purchase eco-friendly products validated by third party eco-labels and certifications, and 43% say they would only purchase products that are environmentally friendly or socially responsible if offered at the same price as their usual brands. If given a choice between two equally performing products, 38% of Americans say that they would choose the more eco-friendly option.   Perceptions of Environmental Issues
Americans believe that the three most important environmental issues, in order of importance, are:
  • Access to clean water and sanitation (64%)

  • Waste management (52%)

  • Ocean polluting and overfishing (49%)

  Despite the abundance of scientific evidence that has been reviewed by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change among other experts, and reported on by the news media, 39% of Americans still don’t believe there is concrete proof that climate change is occurring. The percentage of American’s who are skeptical about climate change increases to 45% in the 55+ age demographic. And one out of four Americans of retirement age (65+) say they don’t care about climate change because they do not perceive that it will have any significant effect during their lifetime.   However, 79% of 18-34-year-olds believe that new technologies and alternative sources of renewable energy are necessary to reduce global warming, and that we have the scientific know-how to solve this problem.  Three quarters of this population believe that we can reverse greenhouse gas effects, but in addition to technological solutions, it will require significant behavioral changes among citizens around the world.   About L’Oréal USA
L'Oréal USA, headquartered in New York City, with 2009 sales of over $4.6 billion and 9,800 employees, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of L'Oréal SA, the world’s leading beauty company. In addition to corporate headquarters in New York, L'Oréal USA has Research and Innovation, Manufacturing and Distribution facilities across seven states, including New Jersey, Kentucky, Arkansas, Illinois, Ohio, and Texas.  Since 2001, L’Oréal has been measuring its impact on global warming and joined the Global Compact in 2003, reinforcing its commitment to climate change. The company has been recognized by Corporate Knights for being among the 100 most sustainable corporations in the world and by Climate Counts for its leadership in addressing climate change.   L'Oréal's impressive portfolio of brands includes Lancôme, Giorgio Armani Beauty, Yves Saint Laurent Beauté, Viktor & Rolf, Diesel, Cacharel, L'Oréal Paris, Garnier, Vichy, La Roche-Posay, L'Oréal Professionnel, Kérastase and Shu Uemura Art of Hair, Maybelline New York, Soft-Sheen.Carson, Kiehl’s Since 1851, Ralph Lauren Fragrances, Essie Cosmetics, Redken 5th Avenue NYC, Matrix, Mizani, Pureology, SkinCeuticals and Dermablend. For more information visit www.lorealusa.com. Press Contact:
Myriam Coneim
mconeim@us.loreal.com   LORE13330