Many companies strive to portray themselves as environmentally friendly in an effort to meet their corporate responsibilities. A new Harris Interactive study indicates that German businesses appear to be setting the pace in terms of communicating their green credentials, with 43 percent of German workers considering their employer to be green, followed by Italy (30 percent), Spain (28 percent), the United Kingdom and United States (21 percent each), and France (19 percent).

Additional survey highlights include:

  • A note of caution for businesses that promote their green credentials, as almost half (49 percent) of U.K. respondents and one-third of the other countries surveyed stated they are cynical of businesses that promote their green credentials (Germany 37 percent, France 36 percent, Spain 33 percent, Italy 30 percent, U.S. 30 percent);
  • More Germans (41 percent) are aware their employer has a corporate responsibility/environmental policy (U.K. workers 32 percent; French, Italian and Spanish workers 30 percent);
  • Respondents in all countries agreed that green issues need to be tackled globally with at least 79 percent agreement in each country, and that governments, businesses and consumers were responsible for taking steps to reduce climate change (all above 70 percent agreement).

Janet Blackburn, research director for Harris Interactive, said, Many respondents believe that businesses could increase their efforts on environmental issues. In Germany only 10 percent felt that businesses are doing all they can to tackle green issues, with other countries fairing only slightly better (U.S. 18 percent, U.K. 14 percent, France and Italy 13 percent, Spain 12 percent).

This study was conducted online by Harris Interactive among a total of 6,590 adults (aged 16-64) within France (1,075), Germany (1,114), Great Britain (1,117), Spain (1,076) and the United States (1,108) and adults (aged 18-64) in Italy (1,100) on November 1-14, 2007. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated; a full methodology is available. Data tables and questions for this study are also available.