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Value of UK Ethical Markets Grows to Almost Double that of Tobacco

The value of all ethical spending in the UK grew to £38billion in 2015, making the ethical goods and services sector worth almost double the tobacco market in the UK.[1]

28-12-2016 |

This reflects an average 8.5% growth in total sales of everything from electric cars to sustainably sourced fish, and is the 13th consecutive year of growth according to the 2016 Ethical Consumer Markets Report from Ethical Consumer and Triodos Bank.

Released today, this year's Ethical Consumer Markets Report reveals three stand-out trends likely to shape markets into the future:

  • The Green Car revolution continued to boom and is now worth £8.4 billion owing to improvements to electric charging infrastructure and increased consumer awareness.[2]
  • Local shopping for ethical reasons grew significantly in 2015. Consumers increased ethical spending in their communities by 11.7%.[3]
  • 53% of the UK population are choosing to avoid buying products and/or services over concerns about ethical reputation.[4]

Rob Harrison, editor of Ethical Consumer magazine said: "More companies, from small entrepreneurs to large multinationals, are bringing more ethical choices than ever before to modern consumer markets. These range from tiny, one person, operations making organic food products in their own kitchens to Nissan's latest range of electric cars.

"The increasing availability of positive alternative products in many markets means that consumers are finding it easier to make more ethical choices.  This in turn allows the whole ethical market to grow much faster than the rest of the economy, which will be encouraging news for many people in these otherwise troubled political times."

Huw Davies, Head of Retail Banking at Triodos Bank UK said: "What this report shows is that people are increasingly choosing to spend their money in ways that line up with their values. The growth of ethical and sustainable markets is an important reminder of the relevance of our financial decisions; where we spend, save, and invest. Our money really can work for positive social, environmental and cultural change."

The Ethical Consumer Markets Report is an annual survey of the value of UK sales from a wide range of products considered to be more ethical choices in a range of consumer markets. It has been run every year since 1999.

The report is available free to download from www.ethicalconsumer.org from December 28th

-Ends-

Notes to editors

The full 2016 Ethical Consumer Markets Report will be released on December 28th 2016. To see a preview copy, please call Simon Birch on the number below.

Media enquiries and interview requests to:

Simon Birch, Ethical Consumer
07969 086 136
birch@ethicalconsumer.org

Simon Martin, Triodos Bank
0117 980 9770
simon.martin@triodos.co.uk

Ryan Munn, Triodos Bank (28th December onwards)
01173110291
ryan.munn@triodos.co.uk

About Triodos Bank

Triodos Bank is a global pioneer in sustainable banking using the power of finance to invest in projects that are good for people and the planet. Triodos uses its €12 billion in assets to create social, environmental and cultural value in a transparent and sustainable way.

With UK operations based in Bristol, Triodos Bank has branches in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Germany and an agency in France. Globally, Triodos Bank has microfinance projects in Central Asia and Eastern Europe, and is a founding member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), a worldwide network of 36 banks seeking to transform finance into a vehicle of positive influence.

Triodos Bank N.V. has a full banking license and is registered with The Nederlandsche Bank N.V. (the Dutch central bank) and The Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets

About Ethical Consumer

Launched in 1989, Ethical Consumer is the UK's leading ethical and environmental magazine. In each issue Ethical Consumer examines the ethical and environmental record of the companies behind everyday products and services from bread to banks. For more information visit www.ethicalconsumer.org

Footnotes

[1] Date obtained from the Office for National Statistics shows total sales of tobacco products in the UK in 2015 was £19.2 billion:
https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/nationalaccounts/satelliteaccounts/datasets/consumertrendscurrentpricenotseasonallyadjusted

[2] This section includes electric and hybrid cars, as well as, cars that emit less than 100g of CO2 per km.

[3] Data for this section came from the YouGov survey.

[4] Also from the YouGov Survey

About the YouGov research

2,163 people (18+) were interviewed online for Ethical Consumer by YouGov Plc. between 23 November and 24 November 2016. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults.

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