The University of Maryland’sRobert H. Smith School of Businessrecently sponsored a study and found a potential for Americans to spend $104 billion on environmentally friendly technologies and consumer products.

The 2007 National Technology Readiness Survey reported that 71 percent of adults are interested in green technology. It also found that there is a large gap between the number of products consumers own now and the number they say they would like to own.

“The $104 billion market opportunity represents the annual sales potential of the 11 product categories measured in the NTRS. More than half, $54 billion, is the potential for sales of ‘green’ vehicles,” the study says in summary. 

"Our research found that green technology trends are led by a small, yet powerful group of influencers that actively act as evangelists to a secondary group of adopters," said P.K. Kannan, director of the Center for Excellence in Service. 

People most committed to the environment ― 10 percent of adult consumers ― are also very enthusiastic about technology, the study reports. These "green tech leaders" are usually younger consumers, and heavier users of online social media. They emit an influence over other consumers, and are often approached by others for advice on technology and the latest gadgets.

The researchers urge marketers to target this segment when introducing green products and services.

Other 2007 National Technology Readiness Survey Findings:

  • 83% of adults want to preserve and protect the environment 
  • 42% of adults said products and services that help the environment are hard to find 
  • 59% of adults say they like trying new technologies that help the environment 
  • 56% of adults say gadgets designed to help the environment would be fun to own 
  • 68% of adults like to do business with companies that are environmentally responsible
  • 72% of adults say they resent companies who say they care about the environment but are not sincere