Sir David is a greater influencer than Greta as 80% of teens think green

Posted in: Corporate

  • One in three teens say Sir David Attenborough’s Our Planet has affected the way they think about green issues (33%) – Gen Z icon Greta Thunberg influenced just 15% 1
  • 81% of teenagers would be happy to pay more for eco-friendly versions of their favourite products – £38 more on trainers and £56 extra on a phone2
  • Organisations need to listen – the majority of teens (78%) say they wouldn’t invest in a company that sells things they don’t agree with.4

Sir David Attenborough’s Our Planet has had a greater influence on teenagers’ green values than Gen Z icon, Greta Thunberg.1

This is according to research from the financial services mutual OneFamily, which also found that eight out of ten teens (81%) prioritise the environment when choosing products. They said they would happily pay more for an eco-friendly option; £38 more on trainers and £56 extra on a phone.2

As eco-friendly shoppers, teens said they would be prepared to pay an additional £291 for a ‘green basket of goods’ that contained their favourite products such as trainers, a mobile phone, a laptop, a top/shirt, food, make up, a games console and books.2

Sir David’s influence on young people shows no sign of diminishing with his new documentary, A Life On Our Planet, now on our screens.

The coronavirus pandemic has also caused teenagers to think more about the environment, 77% of them agreed that it offers an opportunity for a change for the better. Nearly nine out of ten (86%) saw working from home as having a positive green impact, since it reduces the need to commute. A further 73% believed that the pandemic has made people more aware of the fragility of the earth.3 Doing what’s right by our planet and its people is more important than ever.

Behaving ethically is another driving factor in the way teens spend their money. The research showed that 54% would rather keep their money than invest it in a business that had unethical business practices.5 Additionally, 61% of teens would rule out working for at least one corporate sector for ethical reasons – such as mining industries, fossil fuels and fast fashion retailers. 6

Teddy Nyahasha, CEO of OneFamily said,

“As a mutual, we are owned by and for the good of our customers. It means that they have a direct influence on our decision making. So, we listen carefully to what our customers are telling us and act upon it. They told us they want their investments to put the environment first, so we developed our Sustainable Climate Fund that only invests in companies committed to minimising their impact on climate change.
This research reflects the conversations that we’ve had with our customers. It shows that younger people prioritise eco-friendly companies and think it’s important for businesses to be ethically sound too.
Unquestionably Sir David is a national treasure, but it seems he’s also a powerful influencer.
If the legacy of his work is that the young care passionately for the environment and are happy to put pressure on companies to change their practices, then the rest of the corporate world needs to listen to what they are saying. This is, after-all, the generation who will be inheriting our planet – so this is their future.”


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Jo Gilham, PR Manager –

Notes to Editors

Table 1 – Additional amount teenagers would spend for eco-friendly items

Average amount teenagers would be willing to pay for each of the following products if they were eco-friendly Trainers Mobile Phone Laptop A top/shirt Food (e.g organic vs regular food) Make-up and cosmetics Games console Books Books
£37.9 £55.9 £61.5 £25.3 £17.5 £21.1 £54.5 £17.7 £291.4

Unless otherwise stated, all research conducted by Opinium, on behalf of OneFamily, in April 2020 among a sample of 1,000 13-18-year-olds in the UK.

    1. Respondents were asked which of the following options have had the biggest impact on making them feel that protecting the environment is important to them. 33% selected David Attenborough’s programme Our Planet, 15% selected Greta Thunberg, 35% selected teachers and 33% selected parents caring about the environment too
    2. Teenagers were asked if they would pay more for a range of products if they knew they were eco-friendly. 81% of teenagers said that they would/might consider paying more for an eco-friendly option. They were also asked how much more they would be willing to pay for each of the following products if they knew they were eco-friendly (See table 1 for values)
    3. We asked teenagers to think about the Coronavirus pandemic and the environment, and select to what extent they agree or disagree with the following statements “ The pandemic has given us an opportunity to change and be more environmentally friendly” – 77% agreed; “The pandemic has shown us that you don’t always need to travel to work, which could have a positive green impact” – 86% agreed. “The pandemic has meant that people are more aware of the fragility of the earth” – 73% agreed. The values are shown as the NET percentage.
    4. We asked teenagers to imagine the following scenario. They have been given £1,000 and they’ve been given the opportunity to increase it to £2,000 but only if they invest the money in a business that sells things they do not support. 78% selected the I would keep the money option.
    5. We asked teenagers to imagine they had £1,000 and they were given the opportunity to invest it in a business that would give them good returns. Bearing this in mind, they were asked if they would invest the £1,000 into the business if they knew the business had unethical practices. 54% answered No
    6. Teenagers were asked to select the types of company they would not consider working for. 61% selected at least one corporate sector, such as a fast fashion retailer (22%), plastic manufacturer (29%) and mining company (30%)

About OneFamily

We want to empower modern families through their financial lives.

We believe that finance isn’t just personal. Every decision you make affects the people you care about most. That’s why we believe in creating products for modern families. OneFamily is a customer-owned financial services company that offers lifetime ISAs, lifetime mortgages, junior ISAs, child trust funds, bonds and over 50s life cover. We are committed to enabling families to work together to meet the financial demands of modern life.

We have 40 years’ experience of being a trusted provider of financial solutions, over 2.6 million customers and £7.4 billion in funds under management.

Our Awards

OneFamily was named Best Junior ISA provider at the 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 Investment Life and Pensions Moneyfacts Awards and won Best Direct Junior Stocks & Shares ISA provider and Best Online Lifetime Stocks & Shares ISA Provider in the 2018 Your Money Awards. Our Over 50s Life Cover is rated 5 stars by Defaqto.