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11:00 PM 9th May 2024
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Study Reveals Three In Five UK Consumers WHO Want To “Shop Green” Say They Can’t Afford The High Cost Of Eco-Friendly Products

 
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
New research from The Green Insurer, the UK’s first green car insurance broker, reveals that almost three in four (72%) UK adults try to shop in an environmentally conscious way. Three in 10 (31%) say they “always buy” or “usually buy” the most eco-conscious product available. Forty-one per cent say they occasionally buy the most eco-conscious product available, however 28% say they do not select products based on how environmentally friendly they are.

There is a clear age divide in prioritising eco-shopping, with 43% of 18 – 24 year olds saying they always or usually buy the most environmentally friendly product, compared to just 23% of adults aged 55 and over.

The biggest obstacle for shopping green is the higher cost of the more expensive eco-conscious products, which was cited by three in five (59%) UK consumers interviewed. Other reasons given included a lack of choice in green products where they shopped (30%); the perceived poor quality of eco-conscious goods (15%); and a lack of knowledge as to where to find environmentally friendly alternatives (10%). Only six per cent admitted to not being interested in being environmentally conscious.

Regardless of some of the barriers to shopping green, a determined 18% of consumers say that nothing stops them from opting for the product that they believe to be best for the environment.

Aside from shopping for greener products, the survey revealed other measures are being taken by UK adults to reduce their carbon emissions in the last year. One in two people (49%) said that they had reduced the amount of time they spent heating their home, this was followed by actions taken to reduce their electricity and gas consumption (cited by 39% of respondents). Other steps include driving less (26%), making house improvements to conserve energy, such as insulation or double glazing (15%); taking fewer flights (11%) and installing solar panels (5%).

UK consumers say they will continue taking actions to reduce their carbon emissions and are looking increasingly at new ways to help the environment and reduce their personal carbon footprint. Nearly one in five (17%) say that they are considering installing solar panels in their house; 9% are considering moving away from fossil-fuel boilers to installing a ground or air source heat pump; and four per cent are looking to offset carbon emissions from their car.

The biggest obstacle to cutting down carbon emissions is predominantly cost, with half of all respondents (51%) once again saying that they believe the cost involved to be too expensive. The next reason given by consumers is an acknowledgement of needing help from companies to reduce their emissions (14%) or not being sure of how to go about it (13%). Only nine per cent of people believe there is no need for them to reduce their carbon emissions.

In terms of what other actions people are taking to protect the environment, rigorous recycling of household waste tops the list (70% of all respondents) followed by minimising the use of single-use plastics by buying products with reusable alternatives (53%).
Action takenPercentage of respondents
Recycle all household waste according to council's recycling guidelines 70%
Minimising use of single-use plastics and buying reusable alternatives 53%
Buying local and sustainable products e.g. UK-produced seasonal fruit and vegetables 34%
Reduce meat consumption and incorporating more plant-based food in diet 22%
Stopped using bleach, weedkiller or other chemicals harmful to environment 12%
Actively lobbied the government and businesses to take more action to protect the environment 5%

The Green Insurer has launched car insurance policies that customers can buy direct from its website at www.thegreeninsurer.com and through leading price comparison websites. A customer’s Green Driving Score will be used to calculate their reward points and will also affect their renewal premiums, with discounts for people who drive in a fuel efficient way. Policies are linked to a mobile app, which monitors how customers drive.

Every mile driven by customers will be offset using a range of carbon offset projects which are assessed for their carbon and environmental effectiveness as well as the social impact on the people and communities where they are based.

Paul Baxter, CEO, The Green Insurer, said:
“Our findings highlight that an increasing number of consumers are prioritising environmentally conscious shopping due to growing concerns about climate change and its detrimental effects on the planet. Many individuals recognise their role in contributing to carbon emissions through their consumption habits and are taking steps to mitigate their impact.

“We launched our car insurance policies with these environmentally conscientious drivers in mind. They are particularly attractive to those motorists who need to drive but who have also got concerns about environmental sustainability and who wish to reduce their personal carbon footprint. We know that shopping green is not always the most inexpensive option, which is why we also offer customers rewards for environmentally friendly driving and discounts on weekly supermarket shopping through a range of partnerships.”

All customer enquiries to The Green Insurer will be dealt with by humans based in the UK rather than chatbots or overseas call centres.

Up to 70 companies have partnered with The Green Insurer to offer rewards and discounts including ASDA, Tesco, Sainsbury’s Waitrose, Iceland and Morrisons plus retailers Clarks, Harvey Nichols, Halfords, Habitat and Waterstone’s as well as restaurant chains Zizzi, Ask Italian and Café Rouge. On a weekly supermarket shop of £200 a 6% discount would be worth more than £600 a year.

Independent and green offers include Naked Sprout toilet paper and tissues, eco laundry capsules, eco clothing, reusable coffee cups and refillable natural deodorant. The company plans to expand the number of rewards partners and is contacting companies who can also sign up on its website. It will also add other insurance partners in the future and potentially expand the types of policies it offers.

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