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Moving towards a sustainable future: data reveals surge in support for conscious & sustainable shopping

April 7, 2022
  • American Express research shows 68% of UK adults think about the impact on the planet when making purchasing decisions
  • 70% say the pandemic has made them more aware of the impact their purchasing decisions have on their local community
  • 88% think that companies are an essential part of the solution to climate change

London, 7 April 2022:Ahead of Earth Day later this month, new research from American Express® reveals that UK adults are increasingly making more conscious choices when they spend. The research found that 70% of UK adults say the pandemic has made them more aware of the impact their purchasing decisions have on their local community, while 78% believe their day-to-day choices can have a positive impact on climate change. As a result, 68% of UK adults say they think about the impact on the planet when making purchasing decisions.

However, the American Express research shows that caring about the environment isn’t just a ‘lockdown trend’ with UK adults reporting that they plan to make even more positive changes in their lives to help the planet. Two-thirds (67%) say one of their goals in 2022 is to make more sustainable choices when purchasing clothing, food, tech and travel. Lifestyle changes also include what Brits are putting on their plates with over half (52%) of UK adults saying they are more interested in following a plant-based diet than ever before. In addition, 42% say they would pay a premium for sustainable products, and two-thirds (64%) of these would be willing to pay 10% or more.

With the UK population, and people across the globe, taking increased action to combat climate change, the expectation is for companies to follow suit with 88% of UK adults stating that companies are an essential part of the solution to climate change. American Express is committed to net-zero carbon emissions by 2035, aligned with the Science Based Targets initiative, and has been a carbon neutral company powered by 100% renewable electricity across its global operations since 2018*. Building on these commitments, today the company is announcing a $145,000 (approx. £110,000) grant to the Earthwatch Institute, which will fund the planting of several hundred trees in the UK, to help mitigate the impacts of climate change and enhance biodiversity. The company is also expanding the availability of cards made from recycled materials globally with the goal of having the vast majority of plastic cards issued by American Express be made of at least 70% recycled or reclaimed plastic by the end of 2024**, which can help avoid nearly 70,000 kg of virgin plastic from being used annually.

Nikki Edelman, Vice President at American Express, said:“Our research shows that people in the UK and across the globe are seeking to make more conscious choices about how they shop and socialise. Companies must also play their part and that’s why we are joining consumers on their journey by making positive changes of our own – whether that’s through our commitment to net-zero carbon emissions by 2035, changing the plastic makeup of our Cards or introducing targeted grants.”

When it comes to their own impact, nearly half (47%) of UK adults feel they have a good understanding of their personal carbon footprint, with over half of UK adults stating that they are familiar with terms such as carbon offsetting (62%) and carbon removal (52%). Meanwhile, 87% wish companies would make it easier to reduce their carbon footprint.

Further initiatives announced by American Express today include:

  • Expanded Carbon Footprint Dashboard for global Corporate clients to help track estimated carbon emissions associated with certain categories of their employees’ spend - including air travel, ground transportation, hotel stays, restaurants and retail - letting them better understand behaviors so they can find opportunities to manage carbon emissions**
  • American Express is also launching ‘Shop with Purpose’ Amex Offers, to support spending on eligible purchases from select Certified B™ Corp Companies and other brands committed to making a difference. These are available at Vestiaire Collective, an online marketplace to buy and sell authenticated pre-owned luxury fashion (Offer launching 8 April, 2022), and Origins (Offer has launched) a skincare brand which places emphasis on nature, sustainability and earth-friendly practices.***

To learn more about American Express’ approach to ESG to support colleagues, customers and communities, check out its 2020-2021 Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Report.


* Achieved carbon neutral operations for Scope 1 (direct emissions from sources owned or controlled by American Express), Scope 2 (indirect location-based and market-based emissions), and Scope 3 (waste and employee business travel, including third-party air, rail and rental cars) emissions through renewable energy credits, carbon offsets, and reduced GHG emissions. Operations include all our managed facilities, field sites and data centers. Managed facilities are individual properties operationally managed by our global real estate team and housing critical business functions. Field sites are individual properties that are not operationally managed by our global real estate team but directly by our business units. They are typically smaller sites, less than 30,000 square feet (including airport lounges, foreign exchange kiosks, and sales offices) that are owned or leased by American Express.

**Further details on Amex Initiatives launched today

Earthwatch Institute Grant:

The grant will also provide planting, maintaining and monitoring volunteer opportunities to American Express colleagues In addition, the grant will support the creation of a Climate Change Master Class that will be accessible virtually later this year to American Express colleagues. The class, led by scientists, will provide education and tools to help colleagues reduce the impacts of climate change in their personal lives and communities.

Expanded Carbon Footprint Dashboard for global Corporate clients

American Express’ Carbon Footprint Tool calculations are derived by applying selected conversion factors to spending made with the following American Express Corporate products: Corporate Card, Business Travel Account, Corporate Meeting Card, Corporate Purchasing Card, Buyer Initiated Payments, vPayments and Amex Go. The estimated information provided by the Carbon Footprint Tool is for generalised informational purposes only and does not constitute financial, tax, accounting, legal or other professional advice on any subject matter. Product names and features may vary by country, and not all products or features are available in all countries.

American Express UK office initiatives (already in place)

A number of initiatives are in place across UK offices to help employees work more sustainably. These include, but are not limited to: low-flow taps, hand-driers instead of paper towels in toilets, EV charging points, energy monitoring, removal of all single-use plastics from the procurement and catering delivery chain, food waste disposal via ‘Orca’ systems and plant-based options on menus.

***Further details on Amex Offers

Vestiaire Collective

  • Offer: Spend £150 or more, get £30 back, once
  • Dates: 8 April 2022 – 3 June 2022
  • Cardmembers can check whether they are eligible, online or through the Amex App
  • Online only
  • Terms and conditions apply


  • Offer: Get 15% back every time
  • Dates: running to 20 April 2022
  • Cardmembers can check whether they are eligible, online or through the Amex App
  • Availability: Online only
  • Terms and conditions apply
Research methodology

This Morning Consult poll was conducted between March 8-13th, 2022 among a national sample of 1,998n US, 1,000n Japan, Australia, India, UK, and 999n travelers in Mexico and Canada who have a household income of at least $70K, and defined as adults who typically travel by air at least once a year. This study has an overall sample of 7,996 Global Adults. Within this audience, the Gen Z/Millennial demographic group is defined as respondents who were born between the following years: 1981- 2004. Results from each market’s survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.


American Express is a globally integrated payments company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success.  Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, instagram.com/americanexpress, linkedin.com/company/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress

Key links to products, services and corporate responsibility information: personal cards, business cards, travel services, gift cards, prepaid cards, merchant services, Accertify, Kabbage, Resy, corporate card, business travel, diversity and inclusion, corporate responsibility and Environmental, Social, and Governance reports.



Jack Calway


Nick Richardson
+44 (0)7580 849 673

Emily Hutchinson
+44 (0)7880 757390

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