Ethically aware – within financial limits

06 February 2007
Worthy sentiments will not translate into action for three in four Britons, who have no plans to change their travel arrangements despite concerns about the environmental impact of air travel, Prudential has found.

Its research suggests that although most Britons nominally back an increase in air tax for short-haul flights, one fifth said they would not be seeking alternative forms of transport in future to lighten their carbon footprint.

Meanwhile, a study of energy-saving practices from Fool.co.uk has revealed that British consumers are more than happy to buy in to 'going green' – if positive environmental impact is married up with financial benefits.

Over 75 per cent of 'non-green' consumers switch off electrical appliances instead of leaving them on stand-by in order to save themselves money – and help conserve energy.

But when personal expense conflicts with eco-friendliness, personal gain is likely to win, David Kuo, Fool.co.uk's head of personal finance argues.

"Consumers are frequently torn between a desire to help the environment and a need to be financially prudent," he noted.

"Sadly the two are often diametrically opposed," he added, pointing to the fact that only four per cent of consumers use green energy tariffs, which are often more costly.

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