There are also more in Brazil, Russia, and India. Those are the surprising results of recent Gallup polls done in the US and the largest emerging economies.
Consumers were asked to choose whether they would prioritize the environment even if economic growth was curbed, or prioritize the economy even if the environment suffered. Citizens of China were twice as likely to favor the environment over the economy. 83% of Brazilians and 60% of Russians concurred that the environment is more important.
The US statistics are in stark contrast. 49% of Americans voted for the economy and 41% for the environment.
These numbers capture a sea change that has occurred in the US during the past two decades. In the 80s and 90s, Americans put the environment ahead of the economy by roughly 3:1. In 2000 the trend started to shift. During the downturn in 2009, the economy moved into first place, and has stayed there since. Even incidents like the BP oil spill have not changed Americans’ perspective for more than a few months.
What are the implications for us? Should we develop green products for emerging economies? Should we focus more of our international marketing on sustainability?