When it comes to their banking, new research suggests ethical consumers are not as green as they think.
Well-meaning ethical consumers are failing to do the one thing that even they recognise could change the world most, according to a report released today from ethical banking specialists, Triodos. 'How Green is Your Money?', suggests that despite record levels of ethical spending, choosing to bank ethically has become the gap in the green consumer's armoury.
The report's author, Professor Alex Gardner, says the findings show that these 'deep green' individuals recognise that where they save their money matters. While they spend much of their time doing as much as they can for the planet, they still fail to save with sustainable banks, suggesting their 'greenness' may be more superficial than they think. "When it comes to choosing where to save most ethical consumers don't live up to their principles," he said. "While they regularly recycle and are happy to pay more for ethical products, like fair trade coffee and organic food, they ignore their basic values when it comes to their banking choices. Instead, green consumers deposit their money with banks they recognise as having policies that can harm the planet."
The research set out to investigate how people who hold deeply green attitudes and values, who live ethical lifestyles and who are aware that they can bank ethically, choose not to do so. Despite recognising that saving green had the potential to make positive change happen, participants in the study blamed a lack of services, inadequate information, and apathy for their decision for the decision not to do it. "Even knowing that banking ethically can make a big difference to the environment and people, green consumers are still reluctant to make a change," said Triodos Bank's Managing Director, Charles Middleton.
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