Aussies are green minded but need to act on it
The majority of Australians consider themselves green-minded, however, most could do more to put their ideals into practice, especially when it comes to mobile phone recycling, according to new research.
Australia – October 28, 2009 – While 69% of Australians say they consider themselves ‘green-minded’ or conscious of what they can do to minimise their carbon footprint, 71% of Australians admit they have never recycled or properly disposed of their old mobile phones, Sony Ericsson’s GreenHeart Report has found
The GreenHeart Report, a study into Australians’ eco-friendly mobile phone behaviours and attitudes towards green products, reveals that while Australians ultimately want to be green, there is still room for improvement.
When it comes to recycling old phones, 35% said they haven’t because they weren’t sure where and how to do it. Another 32% stated that they wanted to hang onto an old mobile phone ‘just in case’. Another 1 in 3 Australians admit they’re guilty of leaving their phone charger on even when their phone isn’t plugged into it.
However, despite the need to improve in these areas, 1 in 3 Australians say they have heard of MobileMuster, the phone industry’s recycling initiative. In 2008-09 alone, MobileMuster collected more than 122 tonnes of mobile phones. So clearly for some the knowledge and intention is there, Australians just need to act on it.
As Steve Wilson, Managing Director – Market Unit Oceania, Sony Ericsson, said, “The GreenHeart Report highlights that Australians do strive to be green citizens, which is a really positive starting point. People can build on this desire by focusing on the little things they can do to reduce their carbon footprint, particularly with their mobile phones, such as recycling old handsets, turning off their charger when not in use and buying eco friendly alternatives. We’re proud to pave the way for Australians to do this, which is why we’ve launched Naite, our new green phone.”
This research coincides with the launch of Naite, one of Sony Ericsson’s first GreenHeart™ pioneer phones in November. Made from a minimum of 50% recycled plastics, Naite includes a low-power charger, a Carbon footprint calculator and an e-manual replacing the standard paper version to reduce paper use, packaging and transport. As a result, the overall CO² footprint of Naite is reduced by 15%2. This forms part of Sony Ericsson’s commitment to reduce the full life cycle CO² emissions by 15% for all of its products by 2015.
On buying green/environmentally friendly products, Australians said the following factors were barriers to purchase:
- 60% said the cost (perceived to be more expensive)
- 1 in 4 said they’re unsure if the product would work as well as a non-green alternative
- More than 1 in 4 also said the economic downturn has affected how manygreen products they’ve bought.
“The GreenHeart Report has also shown that Aussies want to buy green but are concerned over the issues of cost and functionality, which is why we’re proud to launch the Naite handset for consumers – an economical, green phone alternative that doesn’t skimp on features, functionality or style”, Wilson adds.
Rose Read from MobileMuster, the mobile phone industry’s official recycling scheme, agrees, “It’s great to see companies, such as Sony Ericsson, bringing their own environmental initiatives to market. Sony Ericsson is also making it easier for people to recycle their old handsets by promoting MobileMuster’s online free post recycling labels at www.mobilemuster.com.au and in the future will include free recycling satchels with selected Sony Ericsson handsets sold in Australia.”
There is a real need to continue to encourage Australians to stay on top of recycling and translate their green support into action”. Rose Read concluded.
GreenHeart National Fact Sheet
Green phone habits:
• 71% of Australians say they have never recycled any of their old mobile phones – this is because they:
o Aren’t sure where and how to do it (35%);
o Want to keep an old handset ‘just in case’ (32%);
o Think the old handset still has value and can be passed on to someone else (19%)
o Store old phone/s away and forget they have them (15%).
• 1 in 3 Australians stated that they have heard of MobileMuster, the phone industry’s recycling initiative;
• 55% of Aussies have two or three mobile phones at home;
• When Aussies upgrade their phone, 57% say they will keep their old handset at home, 28% will give it to a friend or family member, and 11% will recycle it through MobileMuster;
• 36% say they leave their phone charger on at all times, even if their phone isn’t plugged into it.
Green mind does not equal green pocket – buying green:
• 69% of Australians consider themselves green minded, i.e. conscious of their carbon footprint and what they can do to minimise it;
• 40% of Australians say they would buy a product if it was green/environmentallyfriendly;
• The remaining 60% of Australians said it ‘depends’ when questioned about buying green;
• Australians said the following deters them from buying green/environmentally friendly products:
o More expensive (or I perceive it to be) – 58%
o Not sure if works as well as non green alternative – 29%
o My preferred brands don’t make green/environmentally friendly products – 7%.
• 29% have also said the economic downturn has affected how many green products they’ve bought;
• 54% of Australians have on average made two green purchases in the past month, 22% have made none and 17% have made five on average;
• Aussies state they are keen to buy or look for eco-friendly/conscious product alternatives in the following categories – food (81%), electrical goods (80%), beauty (62%), mobile phones (58%) and laptops (53%).
Men versus Women:
• Men are guiltier of leaving their phone charger on at all times – 41% of men said they did, compared to 31% of women;
• Women also fancy themselves more green minded than men – according to 72% of women versus 67% of men;
• Not surprisingly, men and women had different priorities when it came to nominating what categories they’d most like to see green products available in.
Men voted for the laptops/gaming devices category more so than women (58% male versus 48% female), whereas women want to see more green products in the beauty (76% female compared to 49% male) and food (85% female versus 77% male) categories.
Age Group differences:
• 20-24 year olds are the worst when it comes to leaving their phone charger on at all times – 46% said they did, much higher than the average of 36%. 45-49 year olds, on the other hand were best, with only 24% saying they did;
• 20-24 year olds also considered themselves the least green minded out of all the age groups, according to 60%, compared to the average of 69%;
• 35-44 year olds are most keen to see eco-friendly product alternatives in the mobile phone (64%) and laptop/gaming categories (63%) compared to the other age groups, whereas food was the most important category for green products for 25-34 year olds (81%).
How the States compare:
• Victoria is the greenest state – scoring the highest percentage for rating themselves green minded (73%) and also for saying they’d buy a green product (43%) out of all the states;
• Victorians (35%) and West Australians (34%) are the best recyclers of their mobile phones, compared to the national average of 29%;
• West Australians are most likely to hold onto an old mobile because they think it still has value, according to 27% of respondents, much higher than the nation average of 19%;
• South Australians are least likely to leave their mobile phone charger on, as cited by 29% of respondents compared to the nation average of 36%;
• NSW residents know the least about MobileMuster, with only 38% of respondents saying they knew what it is. WA was the most clued in state, with 51% saying they know about it;
• Queenslanders are most likely to keep an old handset ‘just in case’ as a reason for not recycling, according to 36% of QLD respondents, higher than the national average of 32%;
• West Australians have been least affected by the downturn when it comes to buying green products, with only 19% of WA respondents saying this has been a barrier, compared to the national average of 29%.
About the Research: This research was conducted online by Pure Profile on behalf of Sony Ericsson in September, 2009 on a representative sample of 1,005 men and women from across Australia. Australians were surveyed on their eco-friendly mobile phone habits, as well as their attitudes to, and purchasing behaviours of, green products.