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Britain’s shoppers considering environment and ethics this Christmas

Britain’s shoppers considering environment

More than sixty percent of Britain’s Christmas shoppers now consider the environmental and ethical credentials of products before making a purchase, according to new research from KPMG.

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A survey of more than 2,000 people across the UK, conducted by Opinium, reveals 61 percent have considered or tried to reduce the environmental or societal impact of their purchases this festive season.

The findings highlight a growing awareness of so-called ‘ESG’ (Environmental, Societal and Governance) issues, among the public.

The study also revealed around 13 percent of customers will ONLY make purchases this year if a brand or company clearly displays good ESG practices. The data suggests that while more and more people are aware of their impact on issues like climate risk and working conditions, it’s yet to translate into a radical change in buyer behaviour.

Sue Bonney, Head of ESG at KPMG UK, said:

“Our survey shouldn’t come as too much as a surprise, given the increased focus from the media and political leaders on the climate crisis and other significant societal issues facing the world. However, it should be a wake-up call for brands and businesses that haven’t yet developed a robust ESG strategy. The data suggests we’re at a bit of a turning point. A majority of consumers are now aware of the issues and thinking about them, but a relatively low percentage are only buying from brands that have a clear environmental and societal agenda. With the Government setting out a raft of environmental policies over the coming months, we can expect that number to grow, putting increasing pressure on retailers who fail to deliver real commitment to good practice.” 

In-line with the growing awareness of the environmental and societal impact of our purchases, the research also found a fifth (20%) of consumers now feel more incline to support independent retailers and their local high street, with nearly a third (27%) of 18-35 year olds claiming the economic fallout from Covid has left them more inclined to shop locally.

Linda Ellett, UK Head of Consumer Markets at KPMG, commented:

“Following the recent lockdown, high street retailers will be hoping for significant footfall in the final week before Christmas.  For small and independent shops in particular, this is a crucial time as they battle hard to make up for lost ground.

”There is no doubt that the pandemic will leave our high streets of the future looking very different and small, independent shops will continue to play an important role – they will just need to be willing to adapt in order to thrive in the new reality.”

Notes to Editors:

Pictured:                                                                                                                                                  

Sue Bonney, Head of ESG, KPMG UK   

Research Methodology:

KPMG UK commissioned research agency Opinium to poll 2,006 UK adults aged 18+ on questions relating to Black Friday, Cyber Monday and wider Christmas shopping habits and trends. Results have been weighted to be nationally representative. The questions were in field between Friday 13th – Monday 16th November 2020

For more information on the route go to:

For media queries, please contact:
Brian O’Neill, Corporate Communications Manager                                                                                     

T: 07823 668 689                                                                                                                           

E: Brian.O’Neill@kpmg.co.uk  

About KPMG in the UK

KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 21 offices across the UK with approximately 17,600 partners and staff.  The UK firm recorded a revenue of £2.40 billion in the year ended 30 September 2019.

KPMG is a global organization of independent professional services firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. It operates in 147 countries and territories and has more than 219,000 people working in member firms around the world. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such. KPMG International Limited is a private English company limited by guarantee. KPMG International Limited and its related entities do not provide services to clients.

© 2021 KPMG LLP a UK limited liability partnership and a member firm of the KPMG global organisation of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Limited, a private English company limited by guarantee. All rights reserved.

For more detail about the structure of the KPMG global organisation please visit https://home.kpmg/governance.

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