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Recent Survey of Over 400 Chinese Youth Indicates Desire for a Healthier, More Environmentally-Conscious Lifestyle

Shanghai, China, March 11, 2010 --( Two Shanghai-based organizations - the sustainability consultancy Greennovate and the youth-insights group enovate – cooperated to gather insights into the minds of China’s socially aware, progressive youth. This is the first nation-wide survey of youth attitudes towards environmental issues and awareness.

Through an online survey of over 400 students and young employees from around China (72% of whom live outside Shanghai) and additional in-depth interviews in Shanghai, Greennovate and enovate sought to discover what defines a modern quality of life for Chinese youth in 2010, as well as attitudes and perceptions towards green products and brands.

The survey was conducted as a part of MaGiC (Made GREEN in China –, an open initiative of Greennovate to encourage the development of greener products and lifestyles in China. MaGiC, which is also supported by enovate, includes a green design competition and public green events at major Chinese universities, helping to build public awareness on sustainability. MaGiC has reached over 700 university students from 3 cities around China so far.

When asked to select the quality of life factors that are most important in their lives, personal health and education were most often chosen by Chinese youth. This represents shift in the values of Chinese youth to a more idealistic, attainable, and personally beneficial lifestyle, rather than one that is fast-paced and spendthrift with the goal of improving material wealth. Owning a personal automobile and living a big city – though common goals of China’s mass youth population – were ranked the least important among China’s leading progressive and socially aware youth.

Enovate founder and director John Solomon commented, “This shift in values amongst youth was one of our top trends in 2009 based on this survey and other client related projects. Brands will continue to be under pressure to align with relevant youth causes, especially those that address China’s ongoing environmental issues.

The survey also revealed a demand from Chinese youth for “green” brands to prove their greenism through products, not just marketing – with 58% of participants verifying green product claims online and expressing a lack of easy indicators for consumers of which products are truly “green.”

Building trust through transparency is essential for brands. Greennovate director Mihela Hladin explains, “The survey supports our efforts and positive approach towards green momentum in China. It has revealed a market share potential for businesses and products with a lower environmental impact. Consumer expectations and perceptions will raise the bar on brand transparency and honesty, with social media playing a crucial role in building consumer understanding of sustainability and providing resources for additional information.”

The survey indicated that Chinese youth reward green brands through word-of-mouth (both online and in person), involvement in community initiatives, and increased sales. Brands and companies can look to these results as leading indicators for more popular social trends in years to come.

View the full survey results:

At Greennovate’s MaGiC:

At Enovate:

About Greennovate

Greennovate is a social enterprise established in 2007 that develops ideas for a sustainable future, focusing our projects on environmental awareness and sustainable development for businesses and communities in China. Our network provides access to a global team of sustainability experts who are committed to accelerating the world’s transition to a more sustainable and prosperous future. Our team in China is characterized by its can-do attitude, creative approaches and forward thinking. We are the founders of a non-profit called GECKO, an environmental awareness initiative for Chinese high schools students, as well as MaGiC, an open initiative for Chinese university students. More information, visit

About enovate

enovate is an insights and design firm located in Shanghai, China. They combine on the ground consumer insights and an experienced strategy team to develop innovative solutions for China’s emerging consumer market. They work with multinational and Asia based brands, agencies, and investors looking to expand and push the boundaries of innovation in the growing China consumer market. More information, visit

Contact Information
John Solomon
+86 21 6170 1271

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