Green Considerations for Connected Devices

How can tech companies convince people their green efforts are genuine?

Tech companies are among the most active businesses when it comes to setting sustainability targets and actually working toward them. But in our latest survey of Western consumers, 39% believe that makers of connected devices, including Amazon, Apple, Lenovo, Microsoft and Samsung, are making no effort to take care of the environment.

Who are these sceptics? There’s a clear link with age of the respondents: the older the person, the more likely they are not to trust big tech’s efforts. The cut-off age appears about 45; those younger are more likely to believe in companies’ green initiatives, and those older are typically less convinced that an industry which flourishes on repeat purchases is genuinely concerned with sustainability.

But is this a case of wisdom coming with age, or is it at least partially about personal involvement? Interestingly, both. The sceptics are less engaged with green activities than the rest of the population; they’re unlikely to be involved with environmental organizations, are less likely to have bought a used device and intend to replace gadgets in future rather than have them repaired.

With that said, the sceptics are also much less likely to believe they have enough information about companies’ activities. And more importantly, they’re less inclined than others to be convinced by actions like using eco-friendly packaging, removing device chargers from the box, or moving to eco-friendlier manufacturing.

The sceptics are more likely than the believers to ask companies for changes to the devices themselves and to their corresponding business models: they want brands to make devices that are easier and cheaper to repair, last longer and are more energy efficient. For them, the most helpful way of having a positive environmental impact is by making changes to their own consumption. Ultimately, they want to buy devices less often and with lower impact from their daily use.

If this sounds interesting and you’d like to learn more about our research into consumer attitudes to the environment and sustainability in connected devices, join us at our free webinar on 9 March 2022, where we’ll present more data — and challenge you to think about what your business can do to promote your green efforts to consumers. Click here to register.