Consumers Worldwide Would Switch to Energy Providers That Help Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Accenture Study Finds



    Individuals in Emerging-Market Countries Even More Concerned about
Climate Change Than Those in Other Countries

    LONDON, October 17 /CNW/ - Nearly nine out of 10 consumers worldwide said
they would switch to energy providers that offer products and services that
help reduce the level of greenhouse gas emissions, according to a study on
climate change released today by Accenture (NYSE:   ACN).

    The study, based on a survey of more than 7,500 consumers in 17 countries
in North America, Europe and Asia, found that 89 percent of all consumers
surveyed would switch to energy providers that offer lower-carbon-emitting
products and services.

    While respondents across the world are concerned about climate change and
its impact, the concern appears to be greatest in emerging-market countries.
Ninety-seven percent of consumers surveyed in Brazil, China and India said
they are concerned about climate change, compared with 85 percent of all
respondents, and 98 percent of respondents in those three emerging-market
countries said they believe that climate change will directly affect their
lives, compared with just 73 percent of respondents in Europe.

    Respondents in emerging-market countries are also the most aware of the
level of effort required for their countries to achieve their targets for
reducing greenhouse gas emissions. For instance, more than 80 percent of
emerging-market respondents said they avoid taking the car (82 percent,
compared with an average of 68 percent for all other respondents) and avoid
buying food imported by plane (82 percent, compared with an average of 63
percent for all other respondents).

    Nine out of 10 of all respondents said they would have a negative
perception of any energy provider that is not taking concrete action to
address climate change. Further, more than half (54 percent) said they would
be willing to switch electricity and gas providers if their current provider
didn't take action to address climate change, and 61 percent said the same of
their oil providers.

    In addition, nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of respondents said they
would be willing to pay a higher price -- a premium of 11 percent, on average
-- for products and services that produce lower greenhouse gas emissions.

    "Accenture's research suggests that while the initial impact in business
terms may be most evident on energy providers, it seems likely that this
impact will increasingly spread to other resources companies either directly
or as the impacts trickle through the supply chain from consumer-facing
businesses," said Sander van 't Noordende, group chief executive of
Accenture's Resources operating group. "From oil and gas companies to
retailers to financial services companies to governments, no provider of
products or services will be immune from consumers' scrutiny and action."

    The study found that individuals are taking the lead on climate change in
response to deep concern over its effects on their everyday lives. The vast
majority (85 percent) of respondents said they are either 'extremely' or
'somewhat' concerned about climate change, and 81 percent said they believe it
will directly affect their lives.

    While the majority (more than 80 percent) of consumers said they believe
that climate change will have the greatest impact on weather and the
ecosystem, three out of four (74 percent) said they believe it will also have
a significant effect on people's health.

    "This seismic and rapid shift in the global consumer landscape presents
major opportunities for companies who take the lead in addressing consumers'
climate change concerns and values, giving them a competitive advantage and
differentiation in the eyes of consumers," said van 't Noordende.

    The study also shows that consumers are already acting on their concerns
about climate change. Most survey respondents said they 'frequently' recycle
paper or plastic (71 percent of respondents), shut down electric devices when
not in use (62 percent), turn down the heating or air-conditioning at home (61
percent), and use high-efficiency light bulbs (59 percent). More than one in
three (41 percent) said they regularly buy products containing recycled
material.

    Methodology

    Accenture's Climate Change study is based on an online survey conducted
with 7,526 consumers in 17 countries around the world to elicit opinions on
climate change. Consumers were interviewed in North America (1,511
interviewees), Europe (3,512 interviewees), Japan and Australia (1,001
interviewees), as well as in the emerging-market countries of Brazil, China
and India (1,502 interviewees). The sample was representative of the general
population in the different countries except in the emerging-market countries,
where a sample representative of each country's urban population was
interviewed.

    About Accenture

    Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and
outsourcing company. Committed to delivering innovation, Accenture
collaborates with its clients to help them become high-performance businesses
and governments. With deep industry and business process expertise, broad
global resources and a proven track record, Accenture can mobilize the right
people, skills and technologies to help clients improve their performance.
With approximately 170,000 people in 49 countries, the company generated net
revenues of US$19.70 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2007. Its home
page is www.accenture.com.




For further information:

For further information: Company: Accenture Allen Valahu, + 33 1 53 23
57 54 allen.valahu@accenture.com or for Accenture Russ Keene, 512-372-6364
russ.keene@bm.com


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