Green issues still matter to UK shoppers

13 March 2009

LONDON: Almost two-thirds of UK consumers say environmental concerns shape their current purchase decisions to the same extent as last year, but the number who find advertising helps them identify companies with good "green" credentials is in single figures, reports the Carbon Trust Standard.

A recent segmentation of British consumers by the Future Foundation reported that the economy has overtaken the environment on the list of the public's main concerns.

However, the Carbon Trust Standard's survey of 2,000 British adults found that 62% of participants felt green issues were as important as a year ago, and 14% said they do not buy goods from companies with negative environmental reputations.

Around a quarter also stated that "green matters" will be more important to them this year than in 2008, despite the onset of the financial downturn.

However, 70% of participants reported they do not find it easy to establish which companies have good green credentials, while 44% argued that they would like to be able to access more corporate information about this matter.

Just over a third of consumers rely on the media to find out about companies' green credentials, with 34% dependent on third-party endorsements, and just 6% who said the same about advertising.

Data published by Nielsen Online also found that UK grocery sales increased by 5.7% in the 12 weeks to February 21 year-on-year.

Tesco's sales rose by 4.9%, with Sainsbury's up by 5.5%, Asda by 7.6% and Waitrose by 2.1%, while discount retailers saw an increase in sales of 27% compared with the year-ago period.

Data sourced from M&M Global; additional content by WARC staff