Case Study: KBC

A wholly-owned subsidiary of Yokogawa Electric Corporation, KBC is the leading technology-based consulting company for the energy and chemical industry.

It is well documented that shipping contributes to around 7% of current man-made sulphur emissions globally. With an aim to reduce this, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has implemented regulation to decrease the global marine fuel sulphur content cap from 3.5% to 0.5% by 2020, or to meet an SO2 emission standard by equivalent means.

As part of KBC’s wider IMO campaign, it commissioned Arlington Research to conduct a piece of consumer research designed to explore awareness and attitudes towards sulphur dioxide emissions. To facilitate this, over 5,000 quantitative interviews were conducted in China, India, Russia, the UK and the US.

Arlington found that few consumers were willing to pay extra for their goods in return for reducing the amount of sulphur emissions they are personally responsible for – known as their ‘Sulphur Shadow’. Likewise, in Russia, the UK and the US, over a third of consumers were unwilling to pay anything extra for a car to reduce their Sulphur Shadow.

The findings led to extensive media coverage in both international consumer and trade press.

Key takeaways:

  • Consumer PR research
  • International research
  • Arlington found that few consumers were willing to pay extra for their goods in return for reducing the amount of sulphur emissions they are personally responsible for – known as their ‘Sulphur Shadow’

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