According to new research from ICMIF member and UK financial services mutual OneFamily, eight out of ten teenagers in the UK (81%) prioritise the environment when choosing products. They said they would happily pay more for an eco-friendly option.
As eco-friendly shoppers, British teenagers said they would be prepared to pay an additional GBP 291 for a ‘green basket of goods’ that contained their favourite products such as trainers, a mobile phone, a laptop, a top/shirt, food, make up, a games console and books.
The research also showed that one in three British teenagers say that the famous British broadcaster, natural historian and conservationist Sir David Attenborough’s recent television programme Our Planet has affected the way they think about green issues (33%) more than, the possibly better-known (on a global basis), Gen Z icon Greta Thunberg who influenced just 15%.
The coronavirus pandemic has also caused teenagers in the UK to think more about the environment, 77% of them agreed that it offers an opportunity for a change for the better. Nearly nine out of ten (86%) saw working from home as having a positive green impact, since it reduces the need to commute. A further 73% believed that the pandemic has made people more aware of the fragility of the earth. Doing what’s right by our planet and its people is more important than ever to these teenagers according to the research findings.
Behaving ethically is another driving factor in the way British teenagers spend their money according to OneFamily’s research. The research showed that 54% would rather keep their money than invest it in a business that had unethical business practices. Additionally, 61% of teenagers would rule out working for at least one corporate sector for ethical reasons – such as mining industries, fossil fuels and fast fashion retailers.
Teddy Nyahasha, CEO of OneFamily said, “As a mutual, we are owned by and for the good of our customers. It means that they have a direct influence on our decision making. So, we listen carefully to what our customers are telling us and act upon it. They told us they want their investments to put the environment first, so we developed our Sustainable Climate Fund that only invests in companies committed to minimising their impact on climate change.
“This research reflects the conversations that we’ve had with our customers. It shows that younger people prioritise eco-friendly companies and think it’s important for businesses to be ethically sound too.
“If the legacy of the work of famous conservationists such as Sir David Attenborough is that the young care passionately for the environment and are happy to put pressure on companies to change their practices, then the rest of the corporate world needs to listen to what they are saying. This is, after-all, the generation who will be inheriting our planet – so this is their future.”