The National Geographic Society has teamed with the international polling firm GlobeScan to conduct a survey that measures and monitors consumer consumption patterns by country. The Greendex is aimed at giving consumers a better understanding of how people across the globe are adapting their consumption habits to make the world a more environmentally sustainable place.
The study of 14,000 consumers in 14 countries asked about energy use and conservation, transportation choices, food sources, the use of green products vs. traditional products, attitudes about the environment and sustainability. The scientifically rigorous process is meant to provide an external index of consumer attitude and behavior over time.
The site provides you with tools to learn your own personal Greendex, a quiz that test your knowledge on environmental issues, and a Market Basket that shows consumer behavior in different countries. There’s also a complete 103-page Greendex Report in PDF format that goes into great detail about consumer choice and the environment.
National Geographic is to be commended for taking this action in a quantitative and scientific manner. This index provides excellent benchmarks that can be tracked over time, and will aid the cause of environmental stewardship by tapping into our competitive nature. The unique approach to focus on individual consumer habits, rather than the habits of governments or companies, places the emphasis at the right scale. What we do as individuals will have perhaps the strongest impact on environmental sustainability.