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Use of Eco-Friendly Practices / Products

Indicator Phrasing

number or % of [specify the target group] that use the promoted environmentally-friendly [specify: practices / services / products]
See indicator in other languages

Indicator Phrasing

English: number or % of [specify the target group] that use the promoted environmentally-friendly [specify: practices / services / products]

French: nombre ou % de [spécifiez le groupe cible] ayant recours aux [spécifiez: pratiques/ services/ produits] respectueux de l’environnement promus

Spanish: número o % de [especifique el grupo objetivo] que utiliza los [especifique: prácticas / servicios / productos] respetuosos con el medio ambiente promovidos

Portuguese: número ou % de [especificar o grupo-alvo] que usam os produtos amigos do ambiente promovidos [especificar: práticas / serviços / produtos]

Czech: počet nebo % [uveďte cílovou skupinu], kteří používají propagované environmentálně šetrné [uveďte: praktiky / služby / produkty]

What is its purpose?

The indicator measures the number or proportion of the target group members that started using those promoted environmentally friendly practices / services / products that contribute to more sustainable consumption and production. This includes any practices / services / products whose use minimizes the usage of natural resources and toxic materials as well as the emissions of waste and pollutants over the life cycle of the service / product (e.g. using energy-efficient products; reducing, reusing and recycling materials; decreasing the usage of harmful chemicals; etc.).

How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data

The methodology depends on whether you promote an eco-friendly product / service or whether you promote an eco-friendly practice:





1) Review of existing data: If you focus on promoting environmentally friendly products or services through a limited number of businesses (e.g. shop sellers, construction companies) or non-profit actors (e.g. a non-profit or a government agency), you can interview their representatives and review their documentation to assess the number of customers who accessed the promoted product / service. This option is often easier (and often also quite precise) but it does not tell you whether the people who accessed the product are using it or not. Alternatively, if you support a large market (for example, through demand creation efforts), you can consult with relevant industry associations or government bodies for the data on sales (if available).



2) Individual interviews with target group members: If you cannot rely on existing data, you can conduct individual interviews with a representative sample of target group members. This approach is suitable only if the product is likely to be used by at least 10-20% of the survey respondents, so that the data you receive is sufficiently accurate.


Q1: Have you heard of [specify the product or service]? (if required, provide more details about the service / photo, including a photo of the product)

A1: yes / no / is not sure / no response


(ask the following question only if the previous answer is YES)


Q2: Do you currently use [specify the product or service]?

A2: yes / no / no response


To calculate the indicator’s value, divide the number of respondents who use the promoted product / service by the total number of respondents. Multiply the result by 100 to convert it to a percentage.






To assess whether people follow the promoted practice, you can either observe or interview a representative sample of the target group members.

Observations: If you promote a practice that is easy to observe (such as whether people use reusable bags when shopping), it is recommended that you conduct observations, as they are likely to give you more precise data.

Interviews: The second option is to interview the target group members. When doing so, be aware of the social desirability bias – a situation when the respondents say what they think the ‘socially desired’ practice is instead of what they actually do. As much as possible, do not ask about the practice directly. For example, instead of asking “Do you recycle your household waste?” ask,  “Where do you dispose of your household’s solid waste?” or “Can you please show me where you throw your household waste?” Ensure that the enumerators are trained in how to probe for further details without leading the respondent to a certain answer (for example, if a respondent says “I throw the waste in a waste container”, it is not possible to conclude whether the respondent recycles or not and more probing / clarity is needed).


To calculate the indicator’s value, divide the number of respondents who follow the promoted practice by the total number of respondents. Multiply the result by 100 to convert it to a percentage.


Important Comments

1) Be very careful about which practice / service / product you promote. While some might appear to be eco-friendly, their overall environmental impact over the entire life cycle can be much more negative than you think. For example, while the use of shopping bags made of cotton or paper is generally perceived to be ‘eco-friendly’, its overall environmental footprint is higher than the footprint of high density polyethylene (plastic) bags that were reused once (see Danish and British studies).


2) If it is important to know how often the respondents use the given product / service, ask "Can you please tell me when you last used [specify the product / service]?". While it is possible that a person used the product, for example, yesterday but otherwise only uses it once per year, in the total sample of your respondents, such 'accidental' facts cancel each other out. Using this approach will give you more reliable frequency data than you would get if you had asked "How often do you ...?".


3) If you are conducting interviews about the use of a certain product, consider verifying the responses by asking the respondent to show you the product.


4) If the respondent does not use the promoted product / service / practice, consider asking why s/he does not use it. Although such direct ‘WHY’ questions provide less precise data than asking indirectly (e.g. about the perceived (dis)advantages of the product / service / practice, things that make it difficult to use, etc.), they can still provide useful insights. For your programming purposes, you can also ask about the respondent’s motivations for using the product / service / practice.


5) If you want your indicator to capture several practices / products / services, you can rephrase it to: “% of [specify the target group] using at least X out of X promoted environmentally-friendly [specify: practices / products / services]. For example, “% of targeted businesses using at least 2 out of 3 promoted environmentally-friendly practices“.


6) If relevant, consider using more specific indicators, such as: 

    - % of [specify the target group] who follow the promoted measures for reducing the use of unsustainable sources of energy (guidance here)

    - % of [specify the target group] who follow the promoted fuel-efficient cooking practices (guidance here)

    - % of [specify the target group] who follow the promoted water-saving measures (guidance here)

This guidance was prepared by People in Need ©

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