UK consumers demand greener products in wake of pandemic - survey
Over a third of Britons (36%) are buying more from companies with strong environmental credentials as priorities shift during the pandemic, a survey shows.
Research from E.ON claims the pandemic has caused a “big shift in consumer behaviour”, with 80% saying they’re planning to purchase goods and services from businesses they know have made a “concerted effort to be environmentally friendly”.
According to the report, 34% of consumers are knowingly paying extra for greener products and services as the “seek out more sustainable products and services and rewarding environmentally-friendly businesses”.
Meanwhile, 51% think the environmental credentials of a product or service “are now just as important as the price they pay for it”.
Of the consumers surveyed, 72% also said they pay attention to whether a business acts in a climate-friendly way, and 65% feel it’s important the products or services they buy don't harm the environment.
The increase in demand for sustainable products was most noticeable in London, where 52% of consumers said they’d changed their habits.
The shift was also particularly noticeable among Millennials (those now in their 20s and 30s), with 54% saying they now buy more from green businesses. However, the research also shows people of all ages are now seeking more sustainable products.
By selling more green goods, E.ON also says small- and medium-sized businesses could earn an extra £11,100 a year by becoming more sustainable. Consumers reported they’re willing to pay an additional 3% for goods with strong environmental credentials.
Michael Lewis, CEO of E.ON UK, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has heightened people’s concerns around the climate crisis and this has brought the environmental footprint of the products and services we buy into sharp focus.
“Small businesses are the engine of the British economy, and we can help make sure they’re equipped to take maximum advantage of the green economic recovery – providing the smart, personalised and sustainable solutions they need to be part of the new energy world.
While results from the survey are positive for the environment and green-focused firms, it remains to be seen how paying higher prices for such goods will stand up in the face of growing unemployment numbers in this Covid era and the prospect of paying more for Brexit-related goods as imports suffer from possible higher tariffs.
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