Canadian homeowners not buying into advertised benefits of green products

    Majority of Canadians see "green" product labels as a marketing tactic

    TORONTO, Sept. 6 /CNW/ - A poll of more than 1,200 Canadian homeowners
conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of Icynene has found nearly two-thirds (63%)
agree that when companies call a home building product green it is usually
just a marketing tactic.
    Yet, the poll also found that nearly a third of homeowners (30%) believe
they don't clearly understand the benefits of a product when it is advertised
as being green or environmentally friendly. The findings suggest homeowners
might need further education over green product claims such as the
cost-savings they deliver and how they minimize their carbon footprint.

    Awareness supports acceptance

    Increasing general awareness of environmental issues could be a good
place to start in driving understanding and acceptance of green products,
considering nearly a third (31%) of Canadian homeowners admit not knowing much
about environmental issues.

    Among those respondents in the poll who claim to be knowledgeable on
environmental issues, green acceptance appears to be significantly stronger:

    -   Only 56% agree that when a product is called green it is a marketing
        tactic vs. 63% of the population as a whole
    -   Only 31% of these respondents indicate that they would not be willing
        to pay more upfront for green building products vs. 40% of the
        population as a whole

    Jon Eakes, Canada's longest-standing TV home improvement expert says
Canadians can also help alleviate their skepticism with products advertised as
green, by asking questions such as: what is the product's renewable content;
what is the product's environmental impact when it is produced and what
ongoing cost-savings can it deliver.
    "Education will play an increasingly important role as more products
advertised as green become available to homeowners and claims become
potentially more confusing," says Eakes. "These products can make a valuable
contribution to the health and efficiency of our homes and environment if we
know how to evaluate them properly."

    Canadians more knowledgeable, less cynical than Americans

    Results of an identical Icynene/Ipsos Reid poll with 1,200 U.S. homeowners
reveal some interesting comparisons with Canadians:

    -   More Canadians (70%) than Americans (63%) agree that they clearly
        understand the benefits of a building product that is advertised as
    -   More Americans (70%) than Canadians (63%) agree that when a home
        building product is called green that it is a marketing tactic
    -   Americans (44%) are slightly more likely than Canadians (40%) to
        indicate that they are not willing to pay more upfront for green
        building products, despite their potential environmental and cost-
        saving benefits

    About the poll

    For the survey, conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of Icynene, a
representative randomly selected sample of 1,285 adult homeowners was
interviewed online. With a sample of this size, the results are considered
accurate to within +/-2.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they
would have been had the entire adult population been polled.

    About Jon Eakes

    Jon Eakes is one of television's longest standing home improvement
experts. His practical consumer-friendly tips and real-life solutions have
connected with consumers through programs such as House Hot Line (Life
Network), Just Ask Jon Eakes (HGTV and the Do-It-Yourself Network) and on The
Weather Network.

For further information:

For further information: or to arrange an interview with Jon Eakes on
how homeowners can evaluate green building products, please contact: Peter
Boyce (ext. 231) or Sofie Hondrogiannis (ext. 248), Harbinger, (416) 960-5100

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