Norway loses interest in green consumerism

Most Scandinavians remain committed to greener products except Norwegians, finds poll

Economic growth has dampened Norwegians' enthusiasm for greener products, while consumers in other Scandinavian countries remain strongly committed, according to an opinion poll commissioned by the Nordic Council. The survey finds continuing strong or growing brand recognition for the Nordic Swan ecolabel in all Scandinavian countries.

According to the poll, one-third of Norwegians now say they never favour environmentally friendly products when shopping, compared with just one-fifth in a similar survey in 1998. Meanwhile, the proportion of Norwegian consumers that say they always or often buy environmentally friendly products has fallen from 65% to 44%.

In contrast, the Nordic Council says, the proportion of consumers strongly favouring greener products remained stable in Sweden, Denmark and Finland at around 60%, and rose to 51% in Iceland.

The Norwegian trend is probably real and echoes findings from other consumer research (ENDS Daily 23 July 1999), according to Nordic Council officials. "Environmental issues are still mentioned in political speeches but are not part of daily living," one told ENDS Daily, adding that the good quality of Norway's natural environment made it difficult for the public to "see how their quality of life could become better through environmental improvements".

The poll also reconfirms the Nordic Swan ecolabel's success in most of Scandinavia. Brand recognition reached as high as 91% and the two lagging countries, Denmark and Iceland - where the Nordic Swan was introduced later than in Sweden, Norway and Finland - have both exceeded the 50% marks in terms of the number of consumers recognising the label.

Follow Up:
Nordic Council, tel: +45 33 96 02 00.

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