The Importance of Sustainability Guidelines

According to the results of a major survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs for
Procter & Gamble Professional, there’s a big gap between belief and follow-
through when it comes to sustainability. The just-released survey reports that,
though 90 percent of the 438 cleaning business decision makers surveyed agree
that sustainability and environmental responsibility are important for business,
only 25 percent of them have actually adopted sustainability guidelines in their
Following are some of the most important findings of this study:
• PURCHASING FACTORS. Respondents were asked to name the two most
important factors in purchasing cleaning products for their businesses. The
results? Performance, 61 percent; price, 52 percent; ease of use, 21 percent;
environmental impact, 20 percent; ingredients, 19 percent; and regulations and
standards, 12 percent. Interestingly, only four percent of respondents said brand
and manufacturer were key components of their decision making.
• GREEN MOTIVATION. When asked what motivates these cleaning decision
makers to buy “green,” nearly seven out of ten said it’s a “personal sense of
responsibility.” And, almost half (49 percent) indicated they are also motivated by
concern for their employees’ safety and health. Other factors that come to play in
going green are: client preferences and corporate guidelines, 13 percent; state
regulations, 12 percent; and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental
Design) qualification, 8 percent.
• USAGE. What other criteria impact decisions makers? According to the survey,
54 percent say “how cleaning products are used is more important than the
products themselves.” And, though nearly six out of ten (58 percent) prefer
purchasing environmentally friendly cleaning products, “they often end up
choosing ones that aren’t.”
• BUSINESS CATEGORIES. Executives from lodging (31 percent) and
commercial (34 percent) industries are “more likely to report that most of the
cleaning products they purchase and use are labeled as ‘green.’ On the other
hand, those from foodservice (28 percent) and healthcare (22 percent) are more
likely to report that just a few of their cleaning products are ‘green.’”
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