Co-operative Bank Index Shows Green Spending Up 19 Per Cent

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CO-OPERATIVE BANK INDEX SHOWS GREEN SPENDING UP 19 PER CENT More and more consumers are shopping with their hearts on their sleeves according to the annual Ethical Purchasing Index (EPI) published today (20 November, 2002) by The Co-operative Bank. According to the EPI, designed to act as an ethical spending barometer, expenditure on green products and services increased by a massive 19 per cent last year compared to the UK economy as a whole, which grew by just 2.1 per cent. The fastest growing areas were fuel and light - green energy sales grew by 133 per cent - and the newly tracked leisure category where the sales of eco-tourism in the UK grew by a factor of 12. The value of green mortgages increased 100 per cent while food, including products such as organics and Fair Trade, saw a rise in sales of 24 per cent. The ethical purchasing "basket" included the following sectors: Food, inc. fair trade, free range £0.8 billion and non-meat vegetarian alternatives Organic food £0.8 billion Green energy, inc. eco-efficient appliances, transport and tourism £1.0 billion Charity shop purchases £1.8 billion Subscriptions: annual voluntary income to charities £1.3 billion Household goods, inc. FSC wood, environmentally friendly cleaning £0.7 billion products Personal items: cosmetics and toiletries not tested on animals £0.4 billion Total £6.8billion The Index, which had a baseline of 100 in 2000, now stands 125 up from 115 last year. With the inclusion of ethical banking and investments, which are not included in the Index, the total value to the UK economy of ethical goods and services was £13.9 billion in 2001. Simon Williams, Director of Corporate Affairs at The Co-operative Bank, said: "The EPI is just a snap shot of ethical buying behaviour, but the second year of the index continues to demonstrate that consumers are choosing products directly marketed as green and ethical. "From the Co-operative Bank's point of view it is particularly satisfying to see that the value of ethical banking has increased by 30 per cent year on year from £2.6 billion to £3.4billion." Research for the Index also highlighted that having a baby is likely to turn mums and dads green. Seven out of ten parents in the key 25-54 age group said they had become more interested in environmental issues following the birth of their children. In addition 57 per cent of parents with babies under one claim to feed them organic food. The research also reveals that last year, for the first time, more than half of all jars of baby food came from organic sources and five per cent of parents are now buying reusable nappies. Notes to Editors: High resolution images available to the media free of charge at For further information contact: 20 November 2002 Dave Smith/Paul Lawler The Co-operative Bank Press Office Tel: 0161 829 5397/5091 Fax: 0161 839 4220 e-mail: ------------------------------------------------------------ This information was brought to you by Waymaker The following files are available for download: