We as humans have now become the single biggest threat to our planet - but equally, we also have the opportunity to put things right. With the introduction of new eco technologies and initiatives we’re gradually moving towards a greener, more sustainable future. But what are the UK’s thoughts and feelings about sustainability in 2022? How many of us are willing to pay more for our products in order for them to be more environmentally friendly? And just how large has the ethical consumer market become here in the UK in 2022?
To provide answers to all of these questions and more, we surveyed 1,000 UK adults, analysed over 20,000 Google searches and rounded up all of the latest sustainability facts, figures and data for 2022.
We surveyed 1,000 UK adults in February 2022 to discover how they feel about the country’s current sustainability efforts and whether or not they believe there’s still more to be done. The survey asked:
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement ‘The UK needs to be more sustainable’.
The findings revealed that:
We often see climate protests, veganism movements and anti-fast fashion campaigns in the media being run by fairly young individuals. But at the same time, many of our country’s leading environmental activists in the UK are older people, such as Sir David Attenborough, Chris Packham and Caroline Lucas. So is it the younger generations who are the most eco-conscious? Or is it in fact older members of society?
To find out, we asked the participants of our survey to disclose their age alongside their answers to the survey. The results found that:
With more and more women in the public eye speaking out about their views on climate change and environmental issues, we wanted to find out just how different men’s and women’s views on the matter are.
When it comes to gender, our survey found that:
Whilst attitudes towards sustainability vary between age groups, genders and within different industries, we’re now seeing a huge shift towards greener practices from suppliers to retailers and of course consumers. But which parts of the UK have the highest demand for more sustainable products and services? And how has the ethical consumer market here in the UK changed over the last few years?
Let’s find out!
To discover which parts of the UK are most interested in shopping with eco-friendly retailers, we analysed Google search data for the country’s 20 most populous towns and cities using the tool Keyword Finder. The results revealed that:
Judging by our online searches, it’s quite clear that those in the North West of England, Bristol, Scotland and Northern Ireland display the most interest in eco-friendly shops compared with the rest of the UK. But which parts of the country are most interested in sustainable products in general? From gifts to food, furniture and cleaning products?
To find out, we conducted another analysis using the tool Keyword Finder in order to determine which of the UK’s major towns and cities search the most for terms such as ‘Eco friendly products’, ‘sustainable products’ and ‘eco friendly cleaning products’.
Our analysis found that:
The Co-op’s most recent Ethical Consumerism Report found that:
As the above report shows, conscious consumerism is clearly on the rise here in the United Kingdom. But just how much is the ethical consumer market in the UK worth in 2022?
With annual inflation reaching 9% by April of 2022 and the cap on energy prices expected to be to be £830 by October 2022, it’s difficult to predict what the near future will look like for our country’s ethical consumer market. Consumers are being hit hard financially at the moment, so a drop in interest in potentially higher priced, sustainably sourced produce could well be on the cards.
Not only this, but retailers have been impacted hugely over the last few years by the coronavirus pandemic. This combined with the effects of the war in Ukraine has had a variety of serious effects on the global economy.
But as long as UK businesses and consumers continue to make an effort when it comes to shopping sustainably, such as reducing carbon footprint and opting for eco-friendly packaging where possible, we can all make a big difference to the future of our planet.
We hope this article has been useful in providing you with all of the most up-to-date facts, figures and statistics on the topic of sustainability in 2022! If you’d like any further information about our study, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Or if you’d like to see more research like this, head over to our blog and check out our recent Recycling Statistics piece.