Survey Reveals China’s Growing Desire for Green Products

Contact: Wendy Rosen
  650-284-6429


Chinese Consumers Express Greater Confidence in Green Products than North American Consumers

BEIJING, Dec. 5, 2012 — A new survey released today by DuPont revealed a growing understanding of green products among urban Chinese consumers.  Seventy percent of these consumers expressed confidence in the environmental claims of green products.  The findings reflect the potential for green products in the world’s largest consumer market and how this demand could help China meet its sustainability targets. 

In the DuPont China Green Living Survey: Consumer Awareness and Adoption of Biobased Products, DuPont found that a majority of Chinese consumers are likely to purchase apparel, personal care, hygiene and household products made from biobased ingredients that offer environmental benefits.  These “green” products use ingredients that are composed of biological or renewable agricultural materials, rather than synthetics, and are biodegradable.  Since biobased ingredients, such as enzymes, often replace petroleum-based ingredients, they help reduce reliance on non-renewable resources.

While just 4 in 10 surveyed said they are very or somewhat familiar with green products, most urban Chinese consumers agree on the factors that make a product “green” and accept that biobased products meet the criteria.  The findings also noted that higher-income Chinese consumers were more familiar with and receptive to green products as well as biobased products.

Characteristic
Percentage Who Agree it is Definitely or Likely Green
Contains recycled material 
84%
Made from renewable materials
84%
Use less energy to produce
84%
Requires less energy to use at home
76%
Requires less water to use at home
74%
Use less water to produce
73%
 

According to DuPont’s research, Chinese consumers express greater confidence that green products are better for the environment than North American consumers surveyed last year. When asked about their confidence that green products are better for the environment, 70 percent of Chinese consumers surveyed said they were either very or somewhat confident. A similar survey of North American consumers released in 2011, showed that 65 percent of Canadians and 60 percent of Americans were confident that green products are better for the environment. 1

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“The survey demonstrates a growing awareness and desire among urban Chinese consumers for green products that offer sustainability benefits,” said Jeremy Xu, vice president, Global Sales and Applications, DuPont Industrial Biosciences.  “Greater adoption of biobased products in China could help the country reduce its energy intensity and carbon emissions and advance a new era of green manufacturing.”

More than three quarters of the respondents said they would definitely or likely buy biobased products in a range of categories.

Type of Product             
Percentage Who Definitely or Likely Would Buy
Detergents
82%
Personal hygiene products
81%
Clothing
78%
Personal Care Products
77%
 

In the North American survey, about 8 in 10 consumers said they would definitely or likely buy biobased products if comparable on cost and quality than non-biobased products.

DuPont’s China survey also found that consumers are more apt than not to believe that biobased ingredients improve the quality of a product.  For example, more than 60 percent of consumers said that biobased ingredients used in personal care products, personal hygiene and detergents would make the products better.

China Market Ripe for Biobased Product Growth

DuPont estimates the market in China for biobased ingredients used to make a range of commercial and industrial products is growing.  Already in North America, there are more than 20,000 products made with biobased ingredients, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which runs the BioPreferred Program to encourage the purchase and use of biobased products.

“Just like the United States, China has the opportunity to develop and promote products made with biobased ingredients as part of a strategy to reduce petroleum consumption, increase the use of renewable resources, better manage the carbon cycle and help contribute to reducing adverse environmental impacts,” said Ron Buckhalt, program manager, BioPreferred Program, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Chinese consumers already can purchase a range of products made with biobased ingredients.  These include detergents that clean at lower water temperatures for reduced energy use, personal care and cosmetic products that are made with naturally derived ingredients rather than synthetics.  Manufacturers can respond to consumer preferences as well by utilizing biobased enzymes that reduce water and energy consumption in the manufacturing process.

About the China Green Living Survey

The research is based on face-to-face, street intercept interviews conducted July 21–Aug. 6, 2012, by Environics Research (in collaboration with N-Dynamic Market Research) with 1,000 Chinese consumers in the following nine mainland cities — Beijing, Chengdu, Dalian, Huangshi, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Shanghai, Wuhan and Yinchuan — as well as Hong Kong.

DuPont — one of the first companies to publicly establish environmental goals more than 20 years ago — has broadened its sustainability commitments beyond internal footprint reduction to include market-driven targets for both revenue and research and development investment.  The goals are tied directly to business growth, specifically to the development of safer and environmentally improved new products for key global markets.

DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802.  The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders, it can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment.  For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit www.dupont.com.


Forward-Looking Statements:  This news release contains forward-looking statements based on management's current expectations, estimates and projections.  All statements that address expectations or projections about the future, including statements about the company's strategy for growth, product development, market position, expected expenditures and financial results are forward-looking statements.  Some of the forward-looking statements may be identified by words like "expects," "anticipates," "plans," "intends," "projects," "indicates," and similar expressions.  These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions.  Many factors, including those discussed more fully elsewhere in this release and in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission by DuPont, particularly its latest annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly report on Form 10-Q, as well as others, could cause results to differ materially from those stated.  These factors include, but are not limited to changes in the laws, regulations, policies and economic conditions, including inflation, interest and foreign currency exchange rates, of countries in which the company does business; competitive pressures; successful integration of structural changes, including restructuring plans, acquisitions, divestitures and alliances; cost of raw materials, research and development of new products, including regulatory approval and market acceptance; seasonality of sales of agricultural products; and severe weather events that cause business interruptions, including plant and power outages, or disruptions in supplier and customer operations. The company undertakes no duty to update any forward-looking statements as a result of future developments or new information.

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12/5/12

1 The 2011 survey, Genencor Household Sustainability Index, was released by Genencor, a division of Danisco that DuPont acquired in May 2011.

 

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