Sustainability of fashion, fruit & veg more important to over 55s than the eco-ethics of banks and mortgage lenders

Younger people are more likely to consider ethical credentials when choosing mortgages and bank accounts than their older counterparts, according to a new consumer survey by research specialists MSi-ACI.

While the over 55s place most importance on the sustainable nature of their fruit and veg (70%) or coffee (55%), nearly six in ten (57%) 18-to-34-year-olds say the ethics of their bank ranks ahead of all other purchases and considerations.

Mortgage providers’ ethical credentials also prompted varying responses between generations. Almost half (47%) of 18-34s said their mortgage provider’s ethical credentials were a deciding factor, compared to just over one in four (27%) of over 55s.

On wider purchasing eco-priorities were also split by the generation gap.

Those aged 55+ also place greater emphasis (54%) on the affordability of sustainable products vs 37% amongst those aged 18-34.

Perhaps surprisingly, the over 55s take the provenance of their clothes even more seriously than under 34s with 60% saying it swayed their buying decisions, compared to 54% of the younger consumer.

Thomas Panton, founder and CEO of sustainable marketplace, said: “We’re seeing a huge increase in customers prioritising sustainability in their shopping, so it’s more important than ever to provide clarity to customers, or risk the consequences.

“We must focus on educating, connecting with people on the issues that are important to them, and ultimately break down the barriers to access.”

Lisa Stanley from online ethical finance website Good With Money said: “It’s said we’re the first generation to experience the impacts of climate change, and the last generation that has the power to do something about it.

‘Younger people today are looking into the future, the savings needed or potentially a mortgage, and want assurance that their financial purchasing decisions align with their other lifestyle choices, as well as their personal values.

“Above all, they want to know the financial products they choose won’t make climate change worse.

“As digital natives and savvy about how the world works, they are highly informed about how big business traditionally invests. This data shows they are clearly prepared to vote with their conscience when it comes to who looks after their money – and who they will borrow from.”