UK homeowners not as 'green' as they think


Most UK adults like to think of themselves as 'green' and 'energy efficient' but their practices reveal a different story. In a survey of 2,000 UK adults conducted by nPower, 72% said they made an effort to be energy efficient at home, with 48% declaring that they were ‘green’. However, during this year's cold spring, 51% turned the heating on, with 22% turning the thermostat up rather than putting on a jumper. Additionally, 38% of households have not installed any improvements to help reduce their energy use, and 85% of people don’t think twice about the environment when they turn the heating up. Only 23% of people realised that taking steps to improve energy efficiency could keep their home warmer, and only 50% know those steps could also lead to lower bills.

Find out more on the nPower blog >>



Four in 10 might join consumer boycott over tax avoidance


A Guardian/ICM poll has found that 42% of consumers may boycott big corporations who fail to pay enough tax. The survey found that 21% of those questioned agreed that it was "very likely" they would refuse to use brands that have made headlines over their tax affairs, including Amazon, Starbucks and Google. Another 20% said it was "quite likely" they would support a boycott. A further 31% said it was "not very likely" they would stop using a company because of its tax stance and 24% said it was not likely at all. The figures show a wide disparity by age. Only 28% of the youngest voters, aged 18 to 24, say they would be likely to refuse to use tax-avoiding brands, compared with 54% of over-65s. This disparity is even starker among those who say they would be "very likely" to withdraw their custom over tax: just 14% of 18-24s; 15% of the 25s-34s; 22% of the 35-64s; and 30% of those aged 65 and up.

Read the full Guardian article >>






Significant minority of affluent consumers putting ethics over price


A significant minority of affluent consumers consider ethical and environmental issues when deciding where to shop and what to buy. In its annual survey of adults from the opinion-leading and high-spending A and B social grades, Kantar Media's Premier TGI study identified a sizeable group of 'ethical consumers' (11% of all upmarket consumers in Britain) who "definitely agree" that it is important that a company acts ethically and also agree that they would be prepared to pay more for environmentally friendly products. These ethical consumers also actively make green choices in their day-to-day lives: they are 55% more likely than the average upmarket adult to re-use empty items like bottles and jars, and they are 46% more likely to make an effort to cut down on the use of gas and electricity at home. When it comes to their motivation to work and do business, they are 65% more likely to think social responsibility is the most important factor, indicating their ethical views transcend both their personal and professional lives.

Read the full article by Kantar Media >>






One in three are voting with their wallet following tax revelations


A ComRes survey about public perceptions around tax avoidance, commissioned by Christian Aid, found a third (34%) of Britons say that they are currently boycotting the products or services of a company because it does not pay its fair share of tax in the UK. Almost half (45%) say they are considering a boycott. Public outrage appears to be growing following recent revelations about the remarkably small amount of UK tax paid by some multinationals: 66% of Britons now believe tax avoidance to be morally wrong (up from 56% in 2012) and 80% said that multinationals’ tax avoidance makes them feel angry. Joseph Stead, Senior Economic Justice Adviser at Christian Aid, said “what this survey shows is that one in three people are actually prepared to change their buying habits and boycott some of the firms seen as not paying their fair share in the UK. This surely must be a wake-up call to all businesses.”

Find out more on the Christian Aid website >>






Priorities and values predicted to play a bigger role in shaping consumer decisions


In 2013 leading social forecaster, Patricia Aburdene, predicts that priorities and values will play a bigger role in shaping spending decisions, with key concepts like practical, quality, meaningful, simplicity, chemical-free, local and sustainable being what encourages consumers to open their wallets. The financial stress brought about by the economic crisis of 2008 is fuelling the popularity of sharing trends, such as Zipcar, and is likely to expand to other industries such as tools and baby gear as consumers readjust their spending patterns to focus less on conspicuous consumption and more on making thoughtful choices with their money. Aburdene also predicts that transparency, fair trade and third-party verification will gain more traction, with more shoppers being drawn to seals of approval from groups like Greenpeace and the Rain Forest Alliance when purchasing goods.

Read more on LOHAS Online >>