Green is Mainstream with Suzanne Shelton


For the month of September, I have selected new and past guests on the podcast to showcase women who are making a difference.

Today, I’m bringing yet another show that I really loved out of the archives for you to enjoy. This podcast was recorded back in May of 2017 with Suzanne Shelton, the founder and owner of Shelton Group, which is one of the leading marketing communications agencies, exclusively focused in the energy and environmental arena. They are sustainability marketing experts!

In our conversation, we spoke about the work that Suzanne’s company does with market research and polls, and how it has given them a chance to gain an understanding of what people are thinking, their perceptions, and what they are doing in terms of energy and the environment. The pandemic has raised our awareness of the health, wellness, and safety issues that we have in our homes. This has become more and more important as we look to support the companies that reflect our values in what they are doing. It is still relevant, and it applies to our current situation. I hope you enjoy it!

The energy space

Suzanne started the company 25 years ago. About eleven years in, she realized that they needed to focus on being the best at something, rather than trying to be all things to all people. They had done a lot of work in the energy space, and looking at where it was heading they realized that there were going to be a lot more environmental problems. It was something they felt passionate about so they decided to focus exclusively on that arena.

Polling Americans

Today, Shelton Group is well known for polling Americans and Canadians, to understand their thoughts and perceptions, and what they are doing in terms of energy and the environment, and how that shapes their buying preferences.

Edgy campaigns

Shelton Group is well known for edgy creative campaigns to help people make informed decisions, and for their research work.


Talking sustainability used to be a niche. Now it has become mainstream. That means that the cost of green fixtures for homes has come down.

Top five

The top five of the thirty-six “nice to have” features that people want in their new homes save either energy or water.

Greener homes without breaking the bank

Shelton Group has figured out how to build beautiful homes that are greener and more energy-efficient, without breaking the bank.

Commercial construction

In commercial construction currently, you have to search to find contractors, developers, and architects who are not using sustainability principals.

Residential construction

There’s more of a challenge with sustainable practices within residential construction. Millennials entering the home buying market, however, are often more aware of things like indoor air quality issues and chemical content issues.

Basic expectations

When people don’t ask questions, it doesn’t mean they don’t care. Most people simply assume that their basic expectations in terms of sustainable practices are being met in the construction of new homes.

Asking the right questions

Homeowners sometimes don’t know the right questions to ask builders. They just want to know that their family will be happy, healthy, and safe.

Builders want to sell homes

Builders want to sell homes so they build what they believe will sell. There are studies that show that certified efficient and green homes sell faster, they sell for more money, and they retain their value better.

Effective marketing

To do effective communications, and effective marketing and advertising, you have to understand what people are thinking. The data that Shelton Group collects tells them that. They can even compare what people are thinking about today with what they were thinking eight years ago.

New questions

They ask new questions every year because new issues come up.


The results of the studies fuel the development of Shelton Group’s creative campaign work so that they can build the right campaigns and marketing materials to sell more products, build brands, and create social movements.

Most people believe that climate change is real

64% of Americans believe that climate change is happening and that it’s caused by man. And 51% of Americans are concerned and feel anxious about it, which means they want to do something about it. Only 6% understand that the leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions in this country is from the energy we generate to use to heat and cool our homes.

Making a positive impact on the environment

People need to understand that the best way that we can make a positive change to the environment is through our homes.

Links and resources:

Shelton Group

Market Research Reports

Buy Stuff for Your Home, Curated by Marla

Spotlight Companies to Support on EGH Podcast

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