Sustainability counts: half of UK consumers shun firms with poor credentials

  • 2 min read

Sustainability counts: half of UK consumers shun firms with poor credentials

Be warned, consumer sustainability issues may be more important than you think. Over half of people in the UK (56%) are less likely to buy from organisations with a weak sustainability record, according to a survey by professional services company GHD.


That figure rises to 73% among those with a higher annual household income (£96,000 or more), while 64% of respondents said green issues will be important when choosing organisations to buy from following the pandemic. Some 14% identify them as their highest priority.

In addition, 22% of workers say that an employer’s environmental credentials will be "very or extremely influential" when deciding whether to accept a job, with a further 29% saying they will be somewhat influential. Some 19% would even be likely to change employer on the grounds that one has better environmental credentials than the other.

The findings form part of an international survey conducted by GHD among over 8,000 consumers in the UK (1,004 surveyed), the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore in order to gain insight into how changing attitudes and behaviours will shape the way we power our future, as part of its whitepaper “The World ofEnergy Post-Covid”. 

This follows on from another GHD survey in November 2020, which revealed that 81% of British consumers support the concept of carbon labelling on daily services and 60% would pay more for environmentally-friendly options.

Commenting on the survey’s latest findings, Tim Mawhood, executive director at GHD, said: “The results of our recent survey show that companies that fail to act responsibly will risk becoming obsolete in tomorrow’s economy if they don’t start transitioning to circular economic models today. 

"With over half of the UK less likely to buy goods or services from organisations with a weak sustainability record, it’s critical that businesses look at their balance sheets and prioritise investments that protect the environment and benefit society". 

He added: “When evaluating where to make changes, companies need to look at the full spectrum of their operations, as new partnerships and innovative collaborations must happen now across the entire supply and value chain to inform future net zero strategies".

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