Major brands join forces to help households tackle climate change

A coalition of major brands is being created to support the development of Home Advantage – a series of real-world household trials to support UK homeowners on their journey to net zero. The first companies to join the initiative are B&Q, Barratt Developments PLC, Starbucks UK, TSB and Unilever UK, who have been brought together by Hubbub. The environmental charity will develop clear guidance for how to support households to reduce their climate impact, based on in-depth research and testing. Insights from the research will be shared with policymakers, businesses and campaigning organisations to inform their understanding of how they can best support households on their journey to net zero.

Households have a crucial part to play in reducing climate-damaging carbon emissions and reducing waste, alongside government and businesses. 32% of the emissions reductions needed between now and 2035 to meet the UK’s net zero goal are down to the choices made by individuals and households according to the UK Climate Change Committee1.

The initiative will see in-depth qualitative and quantitative research conducted over the coming months. UK households will be surveyed to understand current behaviours, motivators and barriers to change and to identify what support they need to overcome these barriers. Alongside this, Hubbub will work closely with a sample of homeowners to test behaviour change and messaging approaches, and to test potential policy scenarios.

The businesses involved will be helping to share insights to inform the project, as well as test ideas to help customers save money and live more sustainably.

The household guide to sustainable living developed as a result is expected to provide a holistic view of how households can be better supported by businesses and government, covering a wide range of topics including energy, food, fashion, electronic waste and green finance. It will also provide solutions aimed at helping people to save money, to support both people and planet –and will generate evidence to debunk the myth that sustainability is an unaffordable luxury in a cost-of-living crisis.

Legislation and incentives from government and business will be vital to remove systemic barriers to sustainable living faced by UK households. Insights from the research which will be used to engage businesses and policy makers to support the changes needed.

Gavin Ellis, Director and Co-Founder at Hubbub said: “Recent research from DESNZ found that 80% of people are concerned about climate change. Our experience is that most people want to play their part to protect the planet, but they aren’t always sure what they can do, where to start or whether it will make a difference. By fully understanding the everyday barriers faced by households, Home Advantage will provide realistic steps and solutions that people can easily incorporate into their daily lives that will collectively make a real difference, as well as highlighting where systemic support is required.

“The expertise of the coalition of fantastic companies will be invaluable. We’re keen that we have representation from brands that touch on all significant aspects of people’s lives and would particularly be interested to hear from any energy providers and supermarkets who are interested in joining us.”

Sam Dyer, Head of Sustainability, B&Q said: “At B&Q we want to make a positive difference through tangible action to minimise the impact we, and our customers, have on the environment. By working with Hubbub and other collaborators, we aim to better understand and improve how we engage with homeowners and renters to help them to make more sustainable choices for their homes, for their benefit and the benefit of society as a whole.”

Yvette Edwards, UK & Ireland Head of Communications and Corporate Affairs, Unilever said: “At Unilever, we have ambitious climate targets and we’re clear we cannot achieve these alone. That’s why we’re committed to playing our part in wider systemic change, working with peers, regulators, policymakers, consumers, and other stakeholders. We are really pleased to be partnering with Hubbub and other businesses on the Blueprint for Sustainable Living. It will help us to better understand the barriers households face when it comes to taking action, and using these insights to inform our own work and to advocate for policies which will achieve the transformation we all need to see.”

Companies interested in joining the initiative should email hello@hubbub.org.uk