Poor quality communication from suppliers is impeding the growth of the European clean tech market, according to a study conducted by Weber Shandwick with KRC Research.
Despite finding that eight out of ten large organizations in Europe have specific clean tech purchasing policies in place, the research highlights a lack of information from suppliers to help customers rationalize making clean tech choices. High quality information that enables customers to properly evaluate clean tech products and services is critical, as half of the organizations surveyed perceive cost to be a barrier to making clean tech investments.
Of 400 senior purchasing decision-makers surveyed across France, Germany, Spain and the U.K., nearly a third currently receive no information at all from clean tech companies (29 percent). An additional quarter of respondents (26 percent) say that they don’t get enough information from suppliers, while one in ten (11 percent) feel the information they do receive is too complicated.
Significant opportunities exist however for companies that can deliver effective communications to clean tech buyers. The Weber Shandwick report shows that 60 percent of European organizations are placing the same level of importance on green procurement as they did before the economic downturn. In fact 25 percent expect to put more emphasis on green procurement, with only 14 percent planning to make it a lower priority.
According to Michelle McGlocklin, chair of the European technology practice at Weber Shandwick: "Our research shows there’s a strong and growing intention to purchase clean tech products and services. Competitive advantage will clearly lie with companies that can communicate the benefits of their products and services in a compelling way. Central to this is the need to overcome the perceived price barrier around clean tech products and services by demonstrating how solutions can create savings and other business benefits."
The research highlights significant differences between key European markets around clean and green products and services:
· Nearly three-quarters of organizations in Germany have clean tech policies in place, compared to little more than half of UK respondents
· Two-thirds of respondents in France see cost as the key barrier to clean tech adoption: less than 40 percent of Germans feel the same
· Less than a third of French respondents feel that they receive enough information about suppliers’ green credentials; by contrast, half of the German respondents we spoke to were happy with the amount of information available to them
· 83 percent of German and Spanish organizations measure the environmental credentials of suppliers. Less than 50 percent of French organizations do so
· As a result of the recession, Spain and France expect to place more importance on green procurement in the future (37 percent and 28 percent); the UK and Germany the least (17 percent and 16 percent).