Christmas shopping in 2017 was regarded as the most ethical on record, according to the Ethical Consumer Markets Report. Ethical purchasing in the UK is now worth a record £81 billion, with increases in ethical clothing and sustainable fish leading the way. Ethical banking however is still lagging behind other ethical sectors, despite the fact that money has a huge role to play in addressing pressing environmental and social issues.
More of us shopped for ethical Christmas gifts in November 2017 than ever before. But how do we decide what is ethical? Regardless of our background or beliefs, we have common values that we can rally around as a society – things like caring for each other and our natural environment, and working together to create a positive future.
Triodos Bank has chosen to support the annual Ethical Consumer Markets Report to help understand and promote the shift to more ethical purchasing and behaviours. Where we choose to spend, save and invest has a huge impact on our environment and the world around us.
Third-party certifiers like Fairtrade and B Corp help us make our choices, but ultimately you will have your own set of values that you choose to follow. And it is encouraging to see that more and more people are consciously choosing ethical and local options. Put together, this continues to result in strong growth in the ethical sector, now worth a record £81.3 billion.
For example, the average household now spends £340 per year on ethical transport like electric vehicles and bicycles, up from £25 a decade ago. Similarly, ethical food and drink accounts for £397 of annual spending, increasing from £186. Overall, ethical spending has more than doubled for the average UK household in ten years.
The report shows just 1.3 per cent growth in ethical banking, proving that it is still lagging behind other ethical sectors. This could be because the options simply haven’t been there. For many years you have been able to align your values with the food you buy, the transport you take and the energy you consume. With the Triodos personal current account we believe you can now do the same with your daily finances.
Moving your money is one of the simplest and most impactful things you can do. As a sustainable bank, Triodos is working hard to take our customer deposits and use them to support organisations that have a positive social, cultural and environmental impact. Many of these businesses, and those featured in the report, are employing innovative models that aim to achieve such goals. By being completely transparent about who we lend to you can choose for yourself if the organisations we finance align with your values.
When we work together, our money can be a powerful force for good. Let’s toast the collective power of the ethical consumer!
Read the 2017 Ethical Consumer Markets Report