Unilever is set to launch a nationwide consumer challenge to help UK families lead more sustainable lifestyles and save money on household bills.
The challenge aims to bust the myth that environmentally-friendly living costs more, and show that sustainable living can in fact help families to save money, at a time when disposable incomes are under pressure.
According to new research by The Futures Company, seven out of 10 (6%) of UK adults say the main barrier to living a more environmentally-conscious lifestyle is that it costs more – a view that Unilever wants to overturn.
During the next six months, 12 families across the UK will take part in Unilever’s Sustain Ability Challenge. They will test practical ways to adapt their daily routines in order to reduce their impact on the environment and cut their household bills. With 62% of adults saying a lack of knowledge about what they can do to live more sustainably prevents them from living a more environmentally-conscious lifestyle, Unilever will provide a series of tools, advice and inspiration to help the families achieve this goal. Their progress will be independently measured by The Futures Company and published in 2013.
Unilever UK & Ireland chairman, Amanda Sourry, said: “We know that nearly 70% of our environmental impact occurs when consumers use our products at home so changing consumer behaviour is one of the biggest challenges we face in achieving our sustainable living plan goals.
“We are committed to making sustainable living commonplace and in order to help our consumers live more sustainably and help their household budgets go further, we need to understand the triggers, barriers and motivators to inspire people to adopt new behaviours. We are excited to be working with families on this new challenge and gain insight that we can feed back into the business, so we can provide practical ways for consumers to make sustainable choices easy, rewarding and habitual.”
With the average family throwing away £680 of food waste each year, the families’ first area of focus will be on food. Throughout November and December 2012, they will aim to reduce their monthly food bill by 15%and their household rubbish by 25%.
Emma Marsh, head of Love Food Hate Waste, WRAP, commented: “Food waste is a major issue for the UK – we throw away 7.2 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year; most of this could have been eaten, costing us £12 billion. With practical help and advice, this is a pioneering experiment with the power to help people waste less and save more.
It’s fantastic to see Unilever taking action with the support of Love Food Hate waste, to help families in a way that benefits the environment as well as consumers’ bank balances.”