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Green spending on the way up as companies struggle to keep pace

By Colin Ricketts - 15 Jun 2011 15:12:0 GMT
Green spending on the way up as companies struggle to keep pace

The UK Government has signed up for targets to cut carbon targets, but according to the not-for-profit company, The Carbon Trust, British companies are lagging behind - only just over 40% of the country's top companies having plans to cut their emissions.

The new survey, released as 'Raising the Bar', shows 59% of FTSE 100 companies have carbon saving plans in place and it could be good for business - as consumer surveying shows that the numbers of customers willing to change where they spend their money for carbon emission-related reasons has doubled to 45%.

Tom Delay, chief executive, the Carbon Trust, said: "The Government's decision to set a legally binding target on greenhouse gas emissions beyond 2020 makes it clear that the UK intends to be a global leader in the low carbon economy. Taken alongside increased consumer demand for low carbon products, 2011 is the year for businesses to develop strategies and set clear targets to help them plan and capitalise on green growth opportunities."

The profit motive seems to be working according to the research, which sees some companies cashing in on consumers' willingness to shop with their green consciences.

For example, Kingfisher Group - best known for its B&Q DIY stores - increased its sales of independently verified eco-products to £1.1 billion, accounting for 10.5% of total retail sales across the group.

Ian Cheshire, CEO, Kingfisher, said: "UK consumers are reaching a tipping point. Increasingly driven by sustainability, they have high expectations of businesses to reduce their impact and are voting with their wallets by spending on brands that do so."

The Carbon Trust's research found that consumers are getting greener, with 47% of those surveyed saying that - when goods were of identical quality - they would buy low carbon labelled goods over non-labelled goods. One in five UK consumers, according to the survey is likely to pay more for carbon labelled products.

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