Emerging Markets Willing to Pay More for 'green' Products

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Chinese consumers are more willing than their American counterparts to pay a premium for consumer electronics that are environmentally friendly, according to the results of a study done by consulting firm Accenture.

"Virtually all -- 98 percent -- of Chinese consumers, compared with just 43 percent of consumers in the United States, reported such willingness," Accenture said in a report released Tuesday. The consulting company called the disparity between Chinese and U.S. consumers "one of the most surprising findings of our research."

Other developing countries shared China's willingness to pay more for products that have a smaller impact on the environment. Overall, 84 percent of respondents in emerging countries said they were willing to pay more for environmentally friendly devices, compared to 50 percent of respondents in mature markets who were willing to pay more, the report said.

The report did not say why consumers in countries like China and India are more willing than their counterparts to pay more for environmentally friendly products. However, emerging countries like China absorb much of the world's electronic waste and bear the environmental and health costs related to the processing of that waste.

"Consumers, especially those in emerging markets, clearly indicated their interest in products that have a less-harmful effect on the environment -- and are willing to pay more for such products," the report said, adding that concerns about environmental sustainability aren't likely to go away.

Consumer electronics companies should respond to consumer demand for environmentally friendly products by stepping up efforts to make such products, it said.

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