Coronavirus pandemic could impact the way we shop and help the environment at the same time

The spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) across the globe is having devastating effects on consumers’ lives, global politics and the global economy – one topic of discussion that seems to have been put on the back burner for now, is the environmental impact. The impact of this virus is unprecedented in this century, however, the change it may lead to could bring about positive change in the way consumers perceive and contribute to environmentally friendly initiatives, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

David Utley, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The subject of corona is very serious and that is not going to change anytime soon, however the environmental impact is a positive one. This reaction to such a serious issue, such as regional lockdowns and limited consumer movement, has done more for the environment than years of environmental campaigning. There is a serious question here. Will we as consumers change as a result of this truly awful crisis?”

In the UK, *45% of consumers actively buy products that are better for the environment, but more importantly, 41% claim that they are interested in buying these products but do not actively buy them, highlighting that there is potential for change.

Utley explains: “With supply chains relying on borders and many UK residents buying fruit and veg grown in Europe (and beyond), consumers will naturally have to buy seasonal products grown in the UK, which will have a positive effect on the environment. However, this will have to be reinforced by government and corporate policy if it’s going to stick in the long term, especially after the pandemic ends.”

There is a chance that all the rest-bite on the environment will be undone, as the world makes up for lost time. For example, there is potential that consumers may over compensate by flying more, buying more and purchasing those European items that have been missing. Factories will therefore over produce to meet demand and this would then be detrimental to the positive impact on the environment during the crisis.

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