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Brief Published: 26 May 2021

Generation Green: Boomers Lead Sustainable Living Movement


Despite younger cohorts being thought of as ‘Generation Green’, recent research finds that boomers (born 1946-1964) shop more sustainably. Across food, beauty and financial products, we explore how eco-boomers are championing greener living, and examine what brands, Gen Zers (born 1996-2009) and millennials (born 1981-1995) can learn from them.

  • Sustainably-Led Shoppers: A recent UK-based survey found that around half of over-55s say they shop locally, buy fewer (but longer-lasting) clothes, and try to avoid single-use plastics – yet only a quarter of those aged 18-34 say they do the same. Thirty-five per cent of over-55s also report they buy produce seasonally, compared with just 16% of 18-34s.
    Brands should encourage more intergenerational collaboration to help young consumers learn eco tricks from their sustainability-savvy elders.
  • Mindful Beauty Buying: Published in March, a survey of 15,000 US shoppers revealed that 31% of boomers say they value sustainability when shopping for beauty products, compared to only 19% of Gen Zers. Brands must be mindful of this and make sustainable product marketing age-inclusive.
  • Pensions Go Green: As boomers ease into retirement, the pension pot is top of mind. There’s an opportunity for impact investing platforms here; recent polling found that 44% of UK pension holders would rather switch to a green pension if offered by their provider. And a further 61% of UK pension holders want their retirement savings to help fight climate change.
    See In the Green: Banking’s Eco Boom in New Ways to Pay for disruptor brands bringing banking in line with consumers’ sustainability values.
    To learn more about this generation’s concerns and priorities, see The New Boomer, and look out for Rewiring Retirement, publishing on July 19.