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Economic Downturn will not stop rise in Ethical Consumerism

Nov 28

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28/11/2008 13:32  RssIcon

Latest report from the Co-operative Bank into green spending


The economic downturn will not halt the growth in ethical consumerism The Co-operative Bank declared today (28 November) as it published its ninth annual report into green spending.

The Report, which acts as a barometer of ethical spending in the UK, shows that, despite the first tremors of the downturn being felt towards the end of last year, the overall ethical market in the UK was worth £35.5 billion in 2007, up 15 per cent from £31 billion in the previous 12 months.

In particular, the Bank cites the impact of green legislation and choice editing as key factors that will continue to drive sales in a number of product areas.

Dick Parkhouse, Managing Director Retail at The Co-operative Bank said: “For some time now we have argued that only through legislation will we secure the necessary changes to deliver mass market, low carbon lifestyles. Government intervention, which promotes energy efficient products such as boilers, white goods and more recently lightbulbs, is underpinning these markets ensuring that they continue to grow.

“Of course, the state of the economy will impact on consumer spending but this report shows that bold Government action can stimulate markets, save consumers’ money and protect the environment.”

The report shows that last year, on average, every household in the UK spent £707 in line with their ethical values up from £630 in 2006. However, overall ethical spend at £35.5 billion is still a small proportion of the total annual consumer spend of more than £600 billion.

Spending on ethical food and drink, which includes organic products, Fairtrade goods and free-range eggs, was up 14 per cent from £5.1 billion to £5.8 billion. Green home expenditure, which incorporates energy-efficient electrical appliances, green mortgage repayments, small renewables (such as micro-wind turbines) and green energy was up 13 per cent from £5.9 billion to £6.7 billion.

Eco-travel and transport costs including environmentally friendly transport, responsible tour operators, public transport and sales of green cars, was all but flat at £1.6 billion.

Spending on personal products, such as humane cosmetics and eco-fashion, (e.g. Fairtrade cotton) was up 4 per cent to £1.3 to £1.4 billion. Monies in ethical finance, which includes ethical banking and investments, was up 15 per cent to stand at  £15.6 billion, up from £13.3 billion last year.




1 comment(s) so far...

Re: Economic Downturn will not stop rise in Ethical Consumerism

I couldn't agree more - and the pace and expeansion of green marketing and consumer activity can only increase given the recent Climate Change Bill and EU Trading Emissions.

The future is green - hopefully not orange.


By tim garbutt on   04/12/2008 17:53


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