Research press release


Nature Climate Change

Companies losing with environmental ‘win-win’ strategies



今回、George NewmanとTamar Markovは、米国で英語を話す成人を集めて、4種類のオンライン型社会実験に参加させて、環境にやさしい企業活動に対する一般市民の反応を調べた。その結果分かったのは、環境に利益をもたらすとともに企業に金銭的利益をもたらす取り組みが、利益を得ることだけを意図した取り組みよりも参加者の評価が低かったことだ。参加者に地域社会の責任に注目するように奨励してから企業の宣伝を見せた場合には、こうした企業の取り組みの評価が特に低くなった。実のところ、消費者が企業のwin-win型戦略を受け入れる確率が最も高かったのは、例えば、効率的な市場に参加した時のことを書かせることによって、市場と向き合う考え方をするように事前準備した場合だった。


Initiatives designed to make companies seem more ‘green’ could backfire if people think corporations profit from them, according to a paper published online this week in Nature Climate Change. The study suggests that companies risk drawing a negative reaction from consumers by promoting themselves as good environmental citizens.

Many companies are seeking to implement business practices that are both environmentally friendly and have the potential to make money - so-called ‘win-win strategies’ - such as encouraging the reuse of hotel towels, constructing energy efficient buildings, or sponsoring environmentally friendly organizations.

George Newman and Tamar Markov recruited English-speaking adults in the United States to participate in four online social experiments to test public reactions to such activities. They found that the initiatives that presented environmental benefits alongside financial gains for the company were rated less favourably by participants than initiatives that only presented a profit motive. The initiatives were particularly unpopular when participants were encouraged to focus on community responsibility prior to being exposed to the promotions. In fact, consumers were most likely to accept the strategies if they were primed to be in a market-oriented frame of mind, by, for example, being asked to write about a time in which they participated in an efficient market.

The authors suggest that companies should therefore focus on communicating the financial benefits, not the environmental gains, of their sustainability initiatives if they want to avoid a negative backlash from consumers.

doi: 10.1038/nclimate3033


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