Being more sustainable is one of top priorities for Brits post-lockdown, new research reveals


BRITS have re-evaluated their lifestyle during lockdown and are hoping to live more sustainably as society adjusts to ‘new normal’, new research by E.ON reveals.

The nation’s top priorities for post-lockdown life include spending time with loved ones (51%), while more than two in five people (43%) say they‘ll continue to shop locally and support businesses in their area.

Businesses themselves also plan to echo these changes, with a quarter (25%) hoping to localise supply chains in the next 6-12 months.

Michael Lewis, CEO, E.ON UK, commented: “At home and in business, this pandemic has made us all consider what’s most important, and it’s heartening to see across the nation we’re planning on putting sustainability at the heart of our ‘new normal’.

“As we look to build back better, it’s important we all take steps towards being more sustainable and more environmentally aware, and we’re proud our customers are already on that journey one year on from our landmark decision to provide their homes with electricity backed by 100% renewable sources.”

The research makes it clear sustainability has become more of a focus for our ‘new normal’.

Nearly half of people (48%) say lockdown measures have made them re-evaluate how sustainable their lives are, while almost three quarters (72%) of businesses say the pandemic has made them reconsider their environmental credentials.

After spending more time at home and adjusting their daily routines, half (51%) of the British public said they’re now more aware of the impact they’re having on the environment, the study found.

People also reported noticing how the air has been cleaner in their local area (56%), how much household waste they create (55%) and the amount of electricity they use in the home (42%).

For many people, their increased focus on sustainability is already being turned into action.

Most of the nation confirmed they’re already taking steps to help the environment by:

  1. Recycling household rubbish (85%)
  2. Limiting their electricity consumption (68%)
  3. Shopping locally (53%)
  4. Monitoring their water usage (53%)
  5. Purchasing fewer ‘fast fashion’ items (49%)
  6. Cutting back on car journeys (38%)
  7. Using reusable coffee cups (31%)
  8. Cutting back on flights (31%)
  9. Using a renewable energy supplier (19%)
  10. Installing solar panels (14%)

The shift in the public’s attitude towards the environment has been matched by businesses, who are considering the ways they can be sustainable post-lockdown.

More than half of business decision-makers (51%) said a ‘green recovery’ should be a priority as the nation rebuilds.

The majority of businesses (69%) believe they are the group with the most responsibility for driving a ‘green recovery’, but this needs to be a shared effort, with the Government (68%) and consumers (42%) also needing to play their parts.

When asked why they want to make their businesses more sustainable, two thirds (66%) revealed that their main motivation was because it is the ‘right thing to do’.

However, industry expectations (32%) and customer demands (25%) are also key incentives for being more environmentally friendly.

With almost four in five businesses (79%) saying that employees care more about working for sustainable businesses now than they did a year ago, being an environmentally friendly and ethical company is more important than ever before.

Besides this, E.ON offers examples on some of the ways business are becoming more sustainable as society continues to take steps towards economic COVID-19 recovery.