Co-op Bank's Ethical Consumerism Report


Annual report into green spending. The economic downturn will not affect ethical consumerism, with the ethical market being worth £35.5 billion (up 15% from the previous year).

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Green retailing: Short term fad or long term trend?


Environmental and ethical issues are gaining momentum, not only within the food industry, but also on a much wider scale.  Being successful now and in the future, companies need to address the concerns of shoppers which, as we have seen, have grown in a short time period and are expected to continue to grow.



Beyond the Niche: Bringing Ethical Financial Products to your High Street


Early 2007, Ashridge Business School agreed to conduct an independent research project sponsored by Co-operative Financial Services and supported by Forum for the Future to explore the UK consumer market for ethical financial products.  The attitudes, opinions, current behaviour and future intentions of the UK public were surveyed and analysed.  The focus was on the products most of us buy: bank accounts, mortgages, home and motor insurance, personal loans, personal pensions and credit cards.”  ECRA participated in scoping interviews as “opinion leaders” conducted in order to construct a questionnaire to be put to the UK public by YouGov.

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Britain’s Ethical Shopper:  Which Way Now?


Sustainability and environmental issues are important to consumers.  The food industry is clearly responding with various initiatives such as reducing packaging and reducing carbon footprints as well as extending product choice to make ranges such as local produced, organic and Fairtrade more accessible.

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Chatsworth FOOTSIE 100 green washers and green winners survey.


The Chatsworth FOOTSIE 100 green washers and green winner’s survey polled UK national and trade journalists, sustainability experts and political groups, in the first major survey of its kind to measure the perception of which UK companies are leading the way on sustainability issues, and which are more concerned with image over substance.

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Social Marketing & Climate Change: Tipping Point or Turning Point?


This report focuses on the perspectives of the public – the way they think and behave in relation to climate change, as well as their values and aspirations. Drawing on recent IPSOS MORI research and that of others, it sets out to establish the prospects for effective behaviour change policy   

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Global Nielsen Survey:  Global Consumer Confidence, Concerns and Spending


Survey shows surge in consumer concern over global warming in past 6 months.
2/5 consumers wants Governments to restrict Carbon Dioxide emissions and invest in environmentally friendly solutions.

The survey found two in five (42%) global online consumers believe governments should restrict companies’ emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants.  Two in five online consumers also said governments should invest in research to find environmentally-friendly and energy-saving solutions.
Consumers globally do not think, that as individuals, they could make much of a contribution to address climate change.  ‘Reducing air travel’ was considered least likely to have an impact.  Only three percent globally thought it would help – although this number was highest in the UK and Germany. 
According to The Nielsen Company’s twice-yearly global consumer confidence and major concerns survey, global warming now ranks as the fourth major concern for global consumers behind economy, health, and job security.

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World Environment Review


A global environmental poll surveying the opinions of 14,000 people on climate change, comparing the UK with 13 other countries.  Key findings:

  • 81% of Britons believe that climate change is a real and worrying threat.
  • 8 out of 10 Britons worry about the impact of climate change on their children.
  • 79% believe that the government must do more to combat this threat.
  • Almost half of Britons would welcome a carbon tax on air travel.
  • 72% feel that the seasons are arriving at different times.
  • Solar and wind are by far the alternative fuel sources of choice, with 78% and 77% respectively. Only 24% believe that nuclear power is the solution.

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Holiday makers pay more for green travel


1/3 holiday makers ready to pay more for 'green' travel.  76% stating they take the environmental impact into account when booking their holiday.  Tourists adopt a number of methods to reduce their impact: offsetting (33%); alternative transport (30%); travelling closer to home (28%); paying green taxes on fares (25%).  However, consumers are still skeptical, (57%) not convinced their actions will make a difference.

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Families support boycotting companies that don't go green


Study finds that companies' revenues could be at risk if they fail to consider the effect of their actions on the environment.  It uncovers that some 70 percent of British families would support boycotting companies that don't take real steps to reduce their environmental impact.
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What Assures Consumers on Climate Change?


Corporate and government efforts to inform consumers about climate change are falling on deaf ears, with barely one in ten people in the UK and US believing what they say on the issue. The startling findings are published as part of a joint study by Consumers International (CI) and AccountAbility. The study also shows that three quarters of those surveyed felt unable to alter their purchasing habits to reduce their personal carbon footprint.

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Keen to be green


According to Continental/KNOTS Research, 88% of Brits switch off unused lights, 86% recycle waste, 72% use energy efficient light bulbs and 67% don’t leave electrical appliances on standby; 77% of Brits still feel guilty about not doing enough environmentally friendly activities. Nearly 40% of consumers say they are environmentally concerned, with more than 1/3 prepared to pay more for green hotels and flights.

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Beyond Packaging: Food Waste in the Home


Three quarters (77%) of British shoppers feel guilty about the food waste they produce, and 43% see better food planning as a way to reduce this.  This was ahead of better use of resealable packaging (29%), smaller portion sizes (27%), a longer shelf life (23%), temperature sensitive labels (19%) and more advice on how to tell if food is still safe to eat (18%).

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Consumers Changing the Ethical Business Agenda




According to GfK NOP, nearly one in three (31%) consumers stated buying ethical products makes them feel good.  Only 18% of the 5,000 consumers surveyed by GfK NOP thought ethical brands were just a fad, and 43% stated they thought ethical brands made businesses more accountable for their actions.  Only one in four (24%) do not believe the hype around ethical products.  In comparison to the US-France-Germany and Spain, UK consumers are the most ethically aware.  62% of UK consumers took the view that ethical brands are making the world a better place.  One third of people questioned were willing to pay a 5-10% premium for ethical products.
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Concern about animal welfare not reaching consumption practices


According to results from a Welfare Quality® survey a large majority of consumers across Europe say that farm animal welfare is important (69% in the Netherlands, 73% in the UK, 75% in France to 83% in Hungary and Sweden, 84% in Norway and 87% in Italy). Other issues of concern included conditions in poultry production, conditions of pigs, treatment of dairy cows, conditions on the farm, transportation and slaughtering. In spite of this, the proportions of people who associate animal welfare concerns and worries with their own purchasing practices are much lower than the general interest and concern. Although 'quite a few' consumers do think about animal welfare issues when shopping for eggs, beef or milk, these proportions are generally much higher than the market shares for special animal-friendly products, indicating a wider consumer definition of food animal welfare than product labels offer.

Go to the Welfare Quality website >>






Fair trade sales spar as shoppers go ethical


According to a report by Mintel, since 1997 the market value of Fairtrade Mark products has risen over 150%. Fairtrade sales up 46% in 2006, reaching £290m. Sainsbury's announces that it will only sell Fairtrade tea, coffee and hot chocolate in it's in store restaurants.

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Holiday Lifestyles - Responsible Tourism


Mintel published a responsible tourism report. Five distinct target groups have been identified: Ethno-Travellers (7%) Awares (29%) Theorists (10%) Relaxed (42%) Unconcerned (12%)



The next big food thing


Consumers considering trying a new product are now more likely to take ethical factors into account than health or convenience. The production values or ethics of a product influence purchase for 68% of the shoppers IGD surveyed.  By comparison, 62% of consumers cite health and wellness factors, and 52% mention convenience.



Consumers sceptical of corporate commitment to sustainability


New research from BT has uncovered a significant mis-match between efforts being made by businesses to act sustainably, and the perceptions of consumers.



Adults too busy for ethical buying


2/5 adults (37%) have been classified by Mintel as either ‘too busy to care’ or are suffering from ‘green overload’, having become cynical about the whole movement.  23% adults are ‘willing but confused’.  Mintels research shows that for many, too much information and mixed messages are causing them to switch off.