Does the "greenness" of a product or service really make any difference to U.S. consumers when it comes to purchasing a new PC or another product or service? A recent survey by The Diffusion Group (TDG) attempts to answer that and other questions concerning the relationship between consumers' perceptions and their behavior when it comes to green-related issues.

During the second quarter of 2008, TDG asked more than 1,500 U.S. adult Internet users about their green-related activities, such as their technology recycling habits (e.g., recycling of PC monitors, CPUs, ink jet cartridges), home-related green activities (e.g., installing energy-efficient appliances, adjusting thermostats to save energy), and travel-related green activities (e.g., driving below the speed limit, purchasing a hybrid automobile, carpooling). The survey also asked respondents to reveal their views on green issues, such as the relevancy of global warming and the environmental impact of their consumer electronics and technology purchases.

The few key findings that TDG is releasing include

  • More than half of adult consumers are to varying degrees concerned with the environmental impact of the consumer electronics and technology they buy and use, but only 10 percent express a critical concern. The fact that 42 percent of consumers lack any level of concern is alarming, given the public focus on environmental issues.
  • The optimal target for green technologies isn't necessarily the most tech-savvy consumer.
  • Most consumers participate in simple forms of green behavior, such as recycling household debris or replacing incandescent light bulbs. However, more progressive green behavior (e.g., purchasing a hybrid automobile or switching to a nonfossil fuel-based energy provider) remains limited to less than 5 percent of adult consumers.

To learn about other key findings, you'll need to purchase two reports. The first report gives an overview of what adult consumers perceive and how they behave in regard to a variety of green-related issues. The second report will offer insights into how these perceptions translate into brand preferences and PC purchasing habits.

The first report—"It’s Not Easy Being Green! Part 1: Eco-Friendly Attitudes & Behavior among U.S. Internet Consumers"—is available for purchase from the TDG website. The Web site notes that, "The curiosity lies in whether today’s 'green shift' is genuine, and whether real-world consumer behavior reflects public rhetoric. This report offers new research to help companies evaluate the 'green' message as a viable strategy for differentiating one’s products and services. Again, the social worth is unquestionable; the persuasive value seems strong; but the green in our wallets may have a stronger pull than the green of our social disposition."

If you're going to want this report, a lot of green is going to be gone from your wallet—this 62-page report costs $2,500. Ouch. The second report's price and expected release aren't mentioned.

If you don't want that much green to leave your wallet, you might want check out some of the other reports available on green-technology purchasing habits. For more information, see "IT Decision Makers Reveal Their Views on Going Green" and "The Biggest Barriers to Going Green."