44% Of UK Shoppers Would Buy Brand With Smaller Carbon Footprint

by | Aug 24, 2007

More than half of UK consumers want information about the carbon footprint of the products they purchase and nearly half would switch to brands with smaller carbon footprints, according to the L.E.K. Carbon Footprint Report (PDF) issued by L.E.K. Consulting.

Fifty-six percent of respondents would value details concerning a product’s carbon footprint when making a buying decision. Equipped with this informat.

Forty-four percent of respondents would switch to a product or service with a lower carbon footprint, even if it was not their first preference, and 20 percent would travel to a less convenient retailer in order to obtain such products.

In addition, 43 percent of consumers would be willing to pay more for a lower carbon product or service – 16 percent would pay up to £20 extra per year and 27 percent would pay more than £20 per year.

When asked who should take the biggest role in reducing carbon footprints in the future, 40 percent of respondents stated that manufacturers and producers should be responsible for taking on this challenge.

The survey also asked respondents to rate a number of industries on a scale of 1 to 5 (where 1 is poor and 5 is excellent) for their efforts to be ‘?green’.  

  • Food & Drink  – 2.69 
  • Financial Services  – 2.62
  • Electricity/Energy Supplier  – 2.58
  • Construction/Housing  – 2.56
  • Clothing – 2.54 
  • Consumer Electronics – 2.48 
  • Retail – 2.45
  • Travel & Transport  – 2.25

In July, Carbonfund.org launched a CarbonFree Certified Product label that companies can use to promote their products as being climate neutral.

Carbon Trust rolled out a carbon label program in March and the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has joined forces with the company to take the first step towards introducing carbon labelling for all products sold in shops.

Climate Counts recently released a carbon scorecard for shoppers and some retailers and manufacturers have started their own programs.

A number of other carbon label programs are in the works or already exist from various organizations, including third-party environmental certifications – aimed at specific areas. The Marine Stewardship Council covers seafood; VeriFlora certifies flowers; and Green Seal puts its stamp on government and corporate buying.

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