One-third of holiday spending will go to green products

New research shows more consumers are seeking sustainable options, including moving away from quicker delivery.

Green holiday

Environmentally friendly products will account for roughly one-third of Canadians’ spending this holiday season, as shoppers prioritize eliminating waste through “responsible retail,” according to a holiday shopping study conducted annually by Accenture.

Canadians expect to spend an average of $721 on holiday purchases – about the same as the $733 spent last year – but a larger number of them are putting their dollars towards more sustainable options. On average, consumers expect to spend 30% of their budgets on recyclable gifts, 27% on reusable items and 19% on products made by “green” companies.

While faster shipping options have become a priority for online retailers, especially around the holidays, nearly half (47%) of all respondents, and 58% of younger millennials, said they were aware that faster shipping has a negative environmental impact, leading many of them to opt for in-store pickup or ground delivery over air transportation. Among those who were previously unaware of the shipping’s impact, 23% said they would now choose greener options.

What’s more, 58% of respondents say retailers have a responsibility to address social issues, and slightly more than half say they would give more business to companies they view as meeting that goal.

The survey found 68% of shoppers expect retailers to “lead the charge” on packaging-free and greener more sustainable delivery options, saying they would take advantage of a retailer’s recycling services (63%) or the ability to trade-in or resell items for a discount towards a purchase (50%). Seventy percent indicated wanting clear labels on sustainable products, and 69% wanted to see the origin of materials and ingredients used to make products.

The holiday survey was conducted by Coleman Parkes Research in September and October. It includes a sample of 1,500 Canadians, evenly split between Toronto, Montreal and Calgary and across demographics, who had purchased an item for personal use online or in store within the last six months.