UK households are getting greener

UK households increased spending on sustainable products and services by 5% this year according to research by the Co-operative Bank

Spending on green items such as energy efficient appliances, green energy and carbon offsetting is now £6bn each year, or £251 per household.

The figures come from the Co-operative Bank’s annual Ethical Consumerism Report which will be published later this month.

Tim Franklin, chief operating officer at The Co-operative Bank, says the report gives a  “timely reminder” that people in the UK are working towards a greener lifestyle and comes as world leaders meet at the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit.

He adds that while consumer behaviour is changing, green spending accounts for less than 1% of total household expenditure.

The report also calls for ethical consumers and businesses to be supported by “thoughtful government intervention” across all sectors.

“In order for the UK to reduce its carbon emissions by 30% by 2020 there will need to be a step-change in take-up of low carbon technologies, and this will need a new contract between business, government and the consumer,” says Franklin.

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