BEIJING — December 5, 2012 — A new survey released today by DuPont revealed a growing understanding
of green products among urban Chinese consumers. Seventy percent of these consumers expressed
confidence in the environmental claims of green products. The findings reflect the potential for
green products in the world’s largest consumer market and how this demand could help China meet its
In the DuPont China Green Living Survey: Consumer Awareness and Adoption of Biobased
Products, DuPont found that a majority of Chinese consumers are likely to purchase apparel,
personal care, hygiene and household products made from biobased ingredients that offer
environmental benefits. These “green” products use ingredients that are composed of biological or
renewable agricultural materials, rather than synthetics, and are biodegradable. Since biobased
ingredients, such as enzymes, often replace petroleum-based ingredients, they help reduce reliance
on non-renewable resources.
While just 4 in 10 surveyed said they are very or somewhat familiar with green products,
most urban Chinese consumers agree on the factors that make a product “green” and accept that
biobased products meet the criteria. The findings also noted that higher-income Chinese consumers
were more familiar with and receptive to green products as well as biobased products.
Characteristic Percentage Who Agree it is Definitely or Likely Green
Contains recycled material: 84%
Made from renewable materials: 84%
Use less energy to produce:84%
Requires less energy to use at home: 76%
Requires less water to use at home: 74%
Use less water to produce: 73%
According to DuPont’s research, Chinese consumers express greater confidence that green
products are better for the environment than North American consumers surveyed last year. When
asked about their confidence that green products are better for the environment, 70 percent of
Chinese consumers surveyed said they were either very or somewhat confident. A similar survey of
North American consumers released in 2011, showed that 65 percent of Canadians and 60 percent of
Americans were confident that green products are better for the environment.
“The survey demonstrates a growing awareness and desire among urban Chinese consumers for
green products that offer sustainability benefits,” said Jeremy Xu, vice president, Global Sales
and Applications, DuPont Industrial Biosciences. “Greater adoption of biobased products in China
could help the country reduce its energy intensity and carbon emissions and advance a new era of
More than three quarters of the respondents said they would definitely or likely buy
biobased products in a range of categories.
Type of Product Percentage Who Definitely or Likely Would Buy
Personal hygiene products:81%
Personal Care Products: 77%
In the North American survey, about 8 in 10 consumers said they would definitely or likely
buy biobased products if comparable on cost and quality than non-biobased products.
DuPont’s China survey also found that consumers are more apt than not to believe that
biobased ingredients improve the quality of a product. For example, more than 60 percent of
consumers said that biobased ingredients used in personal care products, personal hygiene and
detergents would make the products better.
China Market Ripe for Biobased Product Growth
DuPont estimates the market in China for biobased ingredients used to make a range of
commercial and industrial products is growing. Already in North America, there are more than 20,000
products made with biobased ingredients, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which
runs the BioPreferred Program to encourage the purchase and use of biobased products.
“Just like the United States, China has the opportunity to develop and promote products made
with biobased ingredients as part of a strategy to reduce petroleum consumption, increase the use
of renewable resources, better manage the carbon cycle and help contribute to reducing adverse
environmental impacts,” said Ron Buckhalt, program manager, BioPreferred Program, U.S. Department
Chinese consumers already can purchase a range of products made with biobased ingredients.
These include detergents that clean at lower water temperatures for reduced energy use, personal
care and cosmetic products that are made with naturally derived ingredients rather than synthetics.
Manufacturers can respond to consumer preferences as well by utilizing biobased enzymes that reduce
water and energy consumption in the manufacturing process.
About the China Green Living Survey
The research is based on face-to-face, street intercept interviews conducted July 21-Aug. 6,
2012, by Environics Research (in collaboration with N-Dynamic Market Research) with 1,000 Chinese
consumers in the following nine mainland cities — Beijing, Chengdu, Dalian, Huangshi, Guangzhou,
Nanjing, Shanghai, Wuhan and Yinchuan — as well as Hong Kong.
Posted December 19, 2012