Monday, 8 September 2008

News from ASDA

Small changes in daily life can save thousands

The average UK household[1] can save over £27,000 throughout the course of a lifetime[2] and decrease their carbon footprint by making small, everyday changes to the way energy is used in the home, according to a report[3] released by ASDA today.

The study by York University’s Centre for Sustainability Accounting (CenSA) also reported that these changes would have a significant impact on the environment, saving 209 tonnes of Co2 during a lifetime, the equivalent to travelling 115,000 miles by car.

On the back of the study, ASDA launched a booklet giving customers tips and advice on easy ways to save money and live a healthy lifestyle, while helping the environment at the same time. Included is advice such as, changing 10 light bulbs to their energy saving equivalent could save a household £50 a year. In addition, mock kitchens are being set up in 18 of its key stores around the UK to bring to life how simple it is to make these changes.

The report found that substantial savings can be made throughout a lifetime by taking simple actions. Turning the heating down by just 1 degree can save a household almost £6,000 and not heating the house when it’s empty can save a further £4,500. Also, just by not leaving appliances on standby, each home can save over £2,000 during a lifetime – if all households in the UK did this then it would save enough electricity to power 1.2 million homes every single year. Pennies can also be saved every time a cup of tea is made, simply by using just the right amount of water in the kettle.

The following table details the possible financial savings for households across the UK. It also shows the significant benefits on Carbon Footprint with the amount of CO2 saved over a lifetime:

Lifetime Financial Saving (£) and Lifetime CO2 Saving (Kg)

Turning off lights when not needed

Not leaving appliances on standby

Using the right amount of water in the kettle

Not heating rooms when not using them

Not heating the house when not in it

Turning the heating down by 1 degree

Using energy saving light bulbs

Using efficient appliances

Turning off mobile phone charger

Having showers instead of baths


Surprisingly, it is not London residents that have the largest Carbon Footprint but those in South-East England and the London commuter belt, with people in the North-East being the most environmentally friendly. Residents of Gateshead, South Tyneside, Swindon and Gloucester all ranked the lowest in terms of their Carbon Footprint, with the people of East Hertfordshire, St Albarns, Mole Valley and Elmbridge ranking the highest.

“The UK is responsible for 1 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases each year and of this, households are accountable for 75%,” commented John Barrett, Research Associate at CenSA. “This means that by making small changes to their consumption patterns, households can make a big difference to the environment and also save money.”

ASDA’s booklet also recommends how financial and environmental savings can not only be made through changes to energy consumption but also by making changes to diet, the types of products bought and ways of travelling.

A healthy diet that includes fruit, vegetables, wholegrain foods versus an average UK diet which includes alcohol, cheese, soft drinks, more meat and less vegetables will save the average British family almost £100 per year[4]. Also, using the right amount of products and avoiding waste can lead to considerable savings, as identified by the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, during an interview he gave at the G8 summit in July. Up to 30% of fresh food that is purchased ends up in the bin and if this was rectified it could lead to savings of approximately £180 over the course of a year[5].

Julian Walker-Palin at ASDA said: “As my Mum said ‘if you look after the pennies, the pounds will look after themselves’ and this survey has proved her right. Although savings don’t look big in the short term, the savings of a lifetime are considerable – more than the average annual salary. As a business, we are commited to lowering prices so this campaign fits ASDA and our customers perfectly.”

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For further information, please contact Sarah Henderson / Hannah Jones at Frank PR on 0207 693 6999 or /

Notes to Editors:

Carbon Footprint – Regional Breakdown:

Top 10 worst offenders (CO2 Emissions):

East Hertfordshire 14.68
St Albans 14.22
Mole Valley 14.07
Elmbridge 14.04
Chiltern 13.99
South Waverly 13.99
South Buckinghamshire 13.94
Tandridge 13.84
Windsor & Maidenhead 13.79
Hart 13.79

Top 10 most environmentally friendly (CO2 Emissions):

Gateshead 10.92
South Tyneside 10.93
Swindon 10.93
Gloucester 10.93
Sandwell 10.94
Havering 10.94
Bexley 10.96
Barnsley 10.96
Chester-Le-Street 10.99
Nuneaton & Bedworth 11.01

[1] Based on the average energy consumption for a household in the UK not composition
[2] Based on a lifetime of 70 years
[3] The Environmental and Financial Benefits of Changing Behaviour, John Barrett, Centre for Sustainability Accounting (CenSA).
[4] Based on the average household spending £2800 on food and drink in 1 year, (Office of national statistics spending survey)
[5] The average person spends £600 a year on fresh food products (this includes vegetables, meat, fish, fruit and diary products).

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