Canon Canada Inc.

Canon Canada Inc.

April 16, 2007 06:00 ET

Pale Green Youth Don't Walk the Eco-Talk

Most Canadian teens are laid back when it comes to the environment, despite 91% indicating they can make a difference

MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - April 16, 2007) - While the environment ranks among the top issues of concern for teens across the country, a new survey released today by Ipsos Reid on behalf of Canon Canada indicates most don't practice eco-conscious activities. In fact, while the majority surveyed identified themselves as doing what they can to help the environment, their choices say otherwise.

Regardless of personal convictions, nearly all of Canadian teens (94 per cent) agree that it is not enough to say "you're environmentally conscious, you have to act that way too." However, in most instances Canadian teens don't always abide by the three environmental Rs:

- 77 per cent of respondents noted they didn't always turn off their computer immediately after using it to help reduce energy consumption

- Only 41 per cent polled say they always reuse a water container rather than buying a bottle of water

- 44 per cent don't always separate their garbage into recyclable materials and waste

And they don't think politicians live up to the 'practice what you preach' philosophy either. Only seven percent believe our leaders are truly trying to make a difference, and half (52 per cent) of Canadian teens feel our politicians don't pay enough attention to the environment. Quebec teens (63 per cent) are most likely to say that our leaders don't pay enough attention, while teens from British Columbia (50 per cent) and Manitoba (54 per cent) are most likely to say that our leaders use environment issues to get more votes.

Those who are making environmental choices are, surprisingly, not from the emblematic 'green' west. Categorizing themselves as either 'green fiends' (19 per cent), 'environmentally laid back' (74 per cent) or 'environmental cynics' (7 per cent), those who ranked "greenest" were mostly from Ontario (24 percent) and Atlantic Canada (23 per cent), versus the youth in British Columbia (15 per cent) and Manitoba (10 per cent).

This second Canon survey on Canadian teens' attitudes towards the environment coincides with the start of nation-wide Envirothon competitions, launching in Nova Scotia on April 19th, 2007. Winning teams are eligible to represent their region at the Canon Envirothon (, North America's largest environmental competition for high school students. More than half a million teens compete annually across North America at provincial, territorial and state Envirothon competitions on environmental studies for the chance to compete at these continental finals.

"One of Canon's goals through environmental programs like the Envirothon is to help raise teen interest in environmental awareness and education," said Stan Skorayko, Vice President, Corporate Communications, General and Environmental Affairs, Canon Canada. "It's inspiring to watch the popularity of the Envirothon grow with increased annual participation and an expansion of competitions. We hope that by encouraging our youth to become more involved and environmentally active we will see a greater shift into the 'green fiend' category."

To that end, 86 per cent of those surveyed don't think we've reached a level of environmental dire straits and, in fact, the majority of Canadian teens agree they personally can make a difference in the environment (91 per cent).

The survey was conducted by Ipsos Reid for Canon Canada, and polled 1,996 of Canadian teens aged 13 to 19 years old. The online survey was conducted between March 22 and April 2, 2007. The sample used in this study has been weighted according to Census data to accurately reflect the population of teenage Canadians 13 to 19 years of age. With a sample of this size, the aggregate results are considered accurate to within plus or minus 2.19 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had this entire population been polled.

Other key findings:

- 56% of all teens surveyed felt that we should be mindful of the environment, but that being environmentally friendly seems like a lot of work

- When ranking political issues in order of importance, overall those surveyed ranked the environment (24%) second behind education (33%) and slightly ahead of
healthcare (22%)

- Nationally 41% of teens also recycle more often when there are other people around

Regional findings (i):

- 41% of Atlantic Canadian and 40% of Ontario teens would join a teen environmental group over a sports/social club, versus teens from British Columbia (29%), Saskatchewan (28%) and Manitoba (27%)

- Quebec teens are most likely (83%) to ride their bike or take the bus to school rather than drive, over lower scoring provinces including Saskatchewan (61%) and British Columbia (60%)

- 63% of Newfoundland teens would volunteer one Saturday a month for clean-up projects, compared with 38% of those polled in Quebec

- Teens from Nova Scotia (78%), New Brunswick (77%) and Alberta (77%) are more likely to take an item to be recycled with them if the proper receptacle can't be found, choosing to wait to locate a recycle bin

(i) Regional findings are on smaller base size and should be considered directional

About Canon Canada, Inc.

Headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, the company employs 1,500 people at its offices nation-wide, servicing the Canadian market from coast to coast. Innovation and cutting-edge technology have been essential ingredients in Canon's success. Canon's leadership in imaging, optical and document management technology and solutions is based in large part on the thousands of patents the company has secured throughout its history. For the 15th consecutive year, Canon Inc. is among the top three US patent recipients.

The company's comprehensive product line includes networked multifunction devices; digital copiers (colour and black and white); printers, scanners, image filing systems and facsimile machines; calculators, digital camcorders, digital and analogue cameras and lenses; semiconductor, broadcast and other specialized industrial products.

Canon supports programs that help preserve and protect the environment. The company instituted the Clean Earth Campaign in 1990, which assists various environmental and recycling initiatives. The Campaign has also supported leading environmental organizations, such as World Wildlife Fund - Canada and the Canon Envirothon. For more information, visit

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