References to “sustainable” or “sustainability” in consumer-generated media were up 110 percent in March versus a year ago, according to a study by Nielsen BuzzMetrics.
Nielsen BuzzMetrics’ Sustainability Monitor is a new syndicated service designed to take the pulse of consumer sentiment and brand health around sustainability. The service tackles issues such as organics, recycling, renewable fuels, alternative heath care and environmental economics and includes reports in key categories such as automotive and consumer-packaged goods.
“While much media attention has focused on personalities like Al Gore pushing for a sustainable environment, thousands of individual voices are speaking out across all corners of the Internet on this emergent issue,” says Jerry Needel, senior vice president of product management, Nielsen BuzzMetrics. “The Sustainability Monitor aggregates those voices into key insights for companies and brands seeking to understand and participate in this movement.”
Sustainability discussion is tipping into the mainstream; discussion sources go beyond environment and activist-focused topics. Key sustainability blogs rank among top 50 blogs overall and mainstream consumers are looking for ways to get involved.
The topics driving sustainability discussion over the past year include: environmental issues (23 percent); corporate initiatives (18 percent); government involvement (15 percent); economic activities (14 percent); and land development (13 percent).
The study also found a fine line between being viewed as authentic in the support for sustainable practices and perceived as taking advantage of the “trendiness” of going green. Consumers are actively calling out “greenwashing” by corporations perceived to be entering this space with the wrong intentions.