Brazil, India top index for good environmental behaviour; US ranks last

Published: Sunday 15 June 2008

-- (Credit: SHYAMAL)Down to Earth A recent survey, Greendex 2008, carried out among 14,000 people in 14 countries, studied how environment friendly the behaviour of consumers was

Down to Earth Consumers in developing countries scored the highest for their environmentally responsible behaviour--Brazilians and Indians tied for the highest 60 per cent. Those in developed countries scored low; the us was the lowest at 44.9 per cent

Down to Earth Consumers in developing countries believed global warming would worsen the way of life in their lifetime. But those in the us, Australia and Europe (more than 88 per cent) did not believe so

Down to Earth In developing countries, 60 per cent people said that environmental problems affected their health. Only 30 per cent people from developed countries said so

Down to Earth Unlike in the developed world, people in developing countries were more concerned about the environment, and were the most enthusiastic when it came to talking about or listening to environmental problems. Indians topped the list

Down to Earth People in developing countries often walked, cycled or used public transport, and chose to live close to their most common destinations. China topped the list; 53 per cent of consumers surveyed used public transport almost everyday. About 35 per cent people in India used public transport. However, in the us, the use of public transport was rare (5 per cent)

Down to Earth More people in developed countries owned cars, often large vehicles like minivans and suvs, and drove alone most frequently. In the us, 60 per cent of the consumers surveyed drove alone daily (the highest in the survey); in the uk 49 per cent did so. The figures were very different in China and India; here people rarely commuted alone in cars or large vehicles

Greendex, 2008
Down to Earth
Down to Earth Brazilian consumers though topped the index, ranked 10th in terms of food habit. They frequently consumed food like beef that leave a deeper environmental footprint. About 16 per cent Brazilians consumed beef everyday and 62 per cent consumed several times a week--far outpacing consumers in other countries surveyed

Down to Earth Indian consumers topped the list because of their preference for vegetarian food. About 84 per cent of Indian consumers ate locally grown food, at least weekly--the highest recorded in the survey. Chinese consumers also stood out for consuming locally-grown foods

Down to Earth Consumers in the us, however, had the least sustainable consumption habit since they relied on packaged and imported food

Down to Earth People in developed countries, unlike those in developing countries, lived in larger houses and frequently used air conditioners and water heaters. They also used a higher number of electronic appliances

Down to Earth The findings also suggest that consumers in emerging economies, like India, China and Brazil, aspire for higher living standards on a par with those in the wealthy countries. Experts fear as people in these countries become richer and adopt more consumptive behaviour, this could change the index rankings

Source Greendex 2008 survey report. The survey was done by the National Geographic Society and the international polling firm, GlobeScan, in early 2008

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