Bringing sustainability home
Most consumers want to do the right thing when choosing products and services. Yet for many of us, ‘sustainability’ can feel like too complex or remote an issue, so we tend to look to businesses and policymakers to take action on our behalf and to make environmental matters easy to understand. But this doesn’t always happen.
Which? is championing sustainability
As the UK’s consumer champion, Which? is committed to putting all UK consumers at the top of the agenda when we work with policymakers and businesses to deliver sustainable solutions. We’ll help you to buy better by providing information that can help you choose with confidence, and we can help you to make more sustainable choices that can reduce harm to the environment – including when not to make a purchase.
Making sustainable choices
From exposing the truth about car emissions, to influencing energy labelling standards, to making sure the products we recommend are reliable, Which? brings sustainability home for consumers. Now, more than ever, we’re committed to helping you to make better choices for the home, and for this planet that’s home to us all.
What sustainability means to us
For us, sustainability means helping consumers to reduce their contribution to climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution by choosing less environmentally harmful ways to travel, use energy, create food, buy and consume products & services and generate plastic waste.
Sustainability in action
- Our research teams have conducted sustainability-led investigations into food waste, supermarket packaging, Fair Trade standards, green energy, eco laundry, car emissions, built-in obsolescence and domestic recycling. Our content teams have shaped the findings into powerful features published in Which? magazine and on which.co.uk
- Our product testing team has embedded a repairability rating into its lab test programmes.
- We’ve stopped making Best Buy recommendations for lithium-ion cordless products that don't have replaceable batteries.
- Our policy and research teams have responded to a BEIS consultation on energy related products with deep insights from our testing & reliability data.
- We’re working with Consumers International on projects that include the United Nations environment programme on plastics.
- We’re working on sustainable food systems with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
- We’ve given our support to Climate Assembly UK and will take account of its recently published findings and government plans in our policy work.
- We’ve conducted extensive research into consumer attitudes, commissioned in-depth work on the policy landscape, and built a significant knowledge base so that we can prioritise and dial up on sustainability.
Our sustainability commitments
Watch our short film for a quick overview
Which? commits to championing sustainability for consumers – to being a credible source of expertise and advice on sustainable consumerism. Here are our commitments:
1. We’ll partner-up to get more done
We’ll work closely with other consumer organisations internationally to share sustainability expertise and insights, and to influence governments to do more to tackle the world’s sustainability challenges.
2. We’ll invest in sustainability research and content
We’ll deliver more significant research-based projects and produce a regular flow of sustainability content that can positively influence consumer behaviour.
3. We’ll publish more sustainability stories
Every issue of Which? magazine will have an eco column, plus feature content on issues such as plastic waste, recycling, car emissions, electric car options, food waste, food labelling, the clothing industry and offsetting travel. We’ll deep-dive into themes like the circular economy and biodiversity. Closer to home we’ll offer practical everyday advice, from growing your own veg to making your washing machine last longer.
Committed to consumers, businesses and policymakers
We’ll measure how effective we are in helping consumers, businesses and policymakers to safeguard the planet’s natural resources for future generations of consumers.
4. We’ll make Eco Buy product recommendations
We’re bringing sustainability into our product testing so consumers can make better choices. Starting with washing machines and dishwashers that use less energy or water, last longer and are easier to repair, we’ll extend Eco Buy to other products soon.
5. We’ll push hard for sustainability policies that reduce consumer harm
We’ll focus on areas where we have the know-how to make change happen for consumers – including sustainable food systems and digital obsolescence – and our strategic insight team has reviewed evidence of consumer harm in energy, transport, products & services and food & waste, including plastic. We’ll determine the best ways for us to tackle the harm, make sustainable choices easier for consumers and influence business and government to remove barriers.
6. We’ll look deeper into the green energy tariff market
We’ll get busy with our research to find the facts and cut through confusing claims and identify genuine green deals and help consumers switch to more sustainable energy.
Committed to being a more sustainable organisation
As an organisation we’ll find smart ways to be more sustainable and reduce our own contribution to environmental harm.
7. We’ll look at how we run our offices
We’ll run materiality assessments of our London, Cardiff and Bristol offices – how much energy they use and how much waste they produce – and compare them with other buildings. If there’s scope for improvement we'll set out next steps and start with quick wins.
8. Offsetting our carbon emissions
We’ll explore how to offset more of our carbon footprint. We already offset the carbon emissions produced by our travel and testing team researchers travelling for business, and by our shipping of products to be tested in the UK and Europe.
Committed to our people
We’ll support each other to live more sustainable lives.
9. Offering sustainable benefits
From encouraging sustainable travel to home working to green salary sacrifice schemes, we’ll support employees in reducing their own carbon emissions and in sharing our commitment to sustainability.