Italians and sustainability in the retail business: the buzz is online!

Italians speak about sustainability online.This is the result of a recent survey led by Blogmeter from October 1st, 2010 to January 31st, 2011 recording approximately more than 9 thousand post about environmental sustainability related to the major retail chains. Social media proved to be the ideal and most followed communication tool  to promote eco- initiatives, facilitating the construction of  a real “green image” for the retail business sector.

Retailers mentioned by Italians on online conversations about sustainability

When it comes to environmental sustainability Coop and Ikea and are the most discussed with over 40% of the citations. This happened for example with the Sportello Ambiente initiative,  a collaboration between Ikea and Legambiente to offer advice to consumers about home energy efficiency, and with the Coop campaign to promote the consumption of tap water in place of the bottled one.

In general, web users are showing an increaside sensitivity to organic and low-
environmental impact products:  in the online communities dedicated to women, users positively report about the presence of automatic distributors to refill detergents inside the supermarket. Retailers brands are the most mentioned ones, most widely quoted and commented by users because always available on the shelf – like Esselunga Bio, Bio of Auchan, Coop Viviverde. Lidl, for example, is particularly discussed for its range of ecological detergents W5 (on 42 over 199 posts mentioning the retailer) considered to be of good quality and highly recommended among users.

The network also tells us that attention to a more responsible consumption is steadily increasing and influencing the purchase process in different ways: users are more sensitive to labels and the presence of the Ecolabel certification is considered increasingly important for those who are looking for products with a low environmental impact.

The research also showed that a balanced relationship between quality and price of organic and /or eco products is a key criterion in the buying process: very often consumers who are interested in green products do desist because selling prices are too high. (Source: GDO Week)

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