Green thinking is well established. Green brands, not so much

Oh goody, I'm home at my computer on a Saturday night (yes, sad). But, bonanza, I've just hit the jackpot: Some green tech stats for you to contemplate with your Sunday morning coffee!

Oh goody, I'm home at my computer on a Saturday night (yes, sad). But, bonanza, I've just hit the jackpot: Some green tech stats for you to contemplate with your Sunday morning coffee!

Two sources for you. The first is the third EcoPinion survey from EcoAlign, a marketing company that focuses on issues surrounding energy and the environment. The focus of this edition was to explore whether or not consumers could associate certain brands with certain green concepts. (Obviously self-serving, but also illuminating.) You can download the whole report at the link above; the catch is that you have to register.

Among the top findings of this survey (which represented 1,000 online interviews completed during February 2008):

- About 54 percent of the survey respondents could not name a company that supplies renewable energy. What's more, even on an AIDED basis, 71 percent of the respondents were not familiar with 10 "pure play" companies in that sector. - General Electric topped the list of companies that respondents felt were "most committed to using or providing renewable energy." It was followed by Toyota, Southern California Edison, Whole Foods and General Motors. - When it came to the activities that consumers felt were most important for companies to follow, energy-efficient operations topped the list. Energy-efficient buildings and real-estate investments were also important to the survey respondents. Interestingly, green products and green incentives were sixth and seventh on the list, respectively.

I also picked up this post from The EarthTimes via the GreenTech Forum. The one-line takeaway is that interest level in green tech is high across many different categories, especially for hybrid or green automobiles. Another takeaway, which kind of ties into the findings of the EcoAlign survey, is that 42 percent of consumers feel like green tech products are hard to find.

The 2007 National Technology Readiness Survey (sponsored by the Center for Excellence at the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business and by Rockbridge Associates) estimates the total annual sales opportunity at $104 billion (with more than half of that for the vehicles category).

Beware of over-hyping the green benefits of your product, though: About 72 percent of the respondents said the "resent" companies that pay lip service to environmental issues but aren't sincere in their follow-up. If you travel to this link, you can actually watch a couple of videos of the researchers discussing their findings.