Environmental Delinquency Likened to Ignoring Smoking 'Etiquette'

    Bosch survey finds 7 in 10 Canadians see disregard to the environment
    as 'uncool'; senior scholar says eco-offenders will soon be considered

TORONTO, Oct. 6 /CNW/ - In the near future, Canadians driving gas-guzzling vehicles, purchasing products with excess packaging, or giving dinner guests a tour of the house with inefficient old appliances will be seen as social outcasts. Already today, fellow citizens are watching. According to a new national consumer poll entitled, The Bosch Eco-lution Report, a full 7 in 10 Canadians say it's a social faux pas to do things that are environmentally irresponsible.

"We're seeing changing sensibilities around the environment and sustainability, just as our society experienced a major culture-shift on smoking not too long ago," says Dr. David Bell, senior scholar, Professor Emeritus and former Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University. "Today, it's simply unacceptable to smoke in someone's house - a norm of yesteryear. Our eco-culture is growing leaps and bounds in the same way today, and soon people who blatantly disregard the environment will be treated as outcasts."

According to the survey, 85 per cent of Canadians considered themselves to be committed to greener living, and almost one in three Canadians (29 per cent) identified themselves as either "green crusaders" or "green ambassadors" proudly leading by example. Nearly all Canadians (95 per cent) reported doing something to live a more eco-friendly life such as: 1) using re-usable shopping/grocery bags (78 per cent); 2) switching light bulbs at home to energy-efficient ones (68 per cent); 3) purchasing earth-friendly household products (53 per cent); and 4) purchasing energy-efficient kitchen or laundry appliances (50 per cent). What's more, a full 43 per cent of Canadians said they purposefully favour brands that are environmentally responsible.

"Canadians are starting to close the gap between their eco-beliefs and their actions - and while we have a ways to go, I see this country at the cusp of great social change," predicts Bell.

Change happens when there are a combination of drivers, explains Bell, including government legislation, public policy incentives and disincentives, demonstrated leadership from the corporate world, government, schools, etc. and increased education and awareness. Because all of these things are currently aligning, Bell expects fundamental shifts in our eco-culture to take place not within 20 years, but as quickly as five years.

"Companies like Bosch, who have been leading by example in the area of sustainability and producer responsibility for decades now have a serious competitive advantage because many corporate companies are only now starting to catch up to the consumer mindset," says Bell.

Interestingly, half of all survey respondents (51 per cent) said they believe the average Canadian is greener than most corporate companies, while an overwhelming majority (92 per cent) of Canadians said companies must invest more into developing smarter, greener technology.

It used to be that high-performing water and energy efficient kitchen and laundry appliances were a luxury, a nice-to-have. But today, as evidenced from the consumer poll, they have become a should-have. In the future, according to Bell, the expectation will be that it's a must-have. Only the most efficient, technologically savvy appliances will remain on the market.

"Whereas in nature, the output of one natural process becomes the input of another, as a society, many businesses have operated in the opposite way with a take, make and waste model," adds Bell. "That will have to change almost immediately, because in the very near future, the assumption will be: if you want to have a successful business, you must operate it a sustainable basis."

Consequently, Bell says that 25 years from now, it is likely that only companies with a sustainable operation will be successful.

"At Bosch, we feel there is a great opportunity for us to partner with our local communities in order to empower this movement of change," says Steve Preiner, Director of Marketing for Bosch and BSH Home Appliances Ltd. "To do this, we are searching for individuals and groups across Canada who share our commitment of pursuing innovation that embraces the planet we live on. We want to find these change agents, recognize them, and help further the sustainability cause so we can reach this country's green goals even faster."

"What's Your Eco-lution?" is Bosch's latest initiative to inspire Canadians and recognize those who are setting great examples of environmental care in communities across Canada. Bosch is inviting consumers to visit bosch-appliances.ca and submit examples of local Eco-Leaders. An Eco-Leader could be any individual or group who exemplifies Bosch's commitment to environmental responsibility within their community - through their own commitment to sustainable living, education or business practices. In addition, consumers can follow Dr. David Bell's Voice of Reason blog and watch a series of short videos - Bosch's Lessons in Eco-Leadership - which speak to the simple environmental responsibilities shared by homeowners across Canada. Further information on the campaign can be found at bosch-appliances.ca.

The Bosch Eco-lution Report survey was conducted by Leger Marketing and analyzed by Dr. David Bell and Bosch Home Appliances between April 14th and August 31st, 2009. A total of 1510 interviews were completed with Canadian adults, 18 years of age and over. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 2.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

About Bosch

Bosch Home Appliances is part of BSH Home Appliances Corporation, a fully-owned subsidiary of BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH, the third largest home appliance maers, all Bosch products combine superior performance and excellent quality withnufacturer in the world. Inspired by the lifestyle of today's discerning consum unrivaled ease-of-use. The leader in environmentally-friendly home appliances, Bosch manufactures products that regularly receive industry and consumer awards and its dishwashers are consistently top-ranked by leading consumer magazines. For more information, please visit www.bosch-appliances.ca or call 1.800.921.9622 to request a catalogue.

SOURCE Bosch Home Appliances

For further information: For further information: Media requiring further information, images and/or interviews, please contact: Rohini Mukherji/Sharon Hayward, DDB Public Relations, (416) 963-4297/(416) 972-5844, rohini.mukherji@can.ddbpr.com/sharon.hayward@can.ddbpr.com

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