“The COVID-19 pandemic caused huge disruption to everyday life – and led to a questioning and rethinking of the way we live and work.”

Kevin Starr

Country Manager, UK and ROI


Health concerns were suddenly paramount, but many people were also thinking more deeply about the impact their lifestyles have on the natural environment.

At Essity we continuously conduct research among the general public to understand behaviours and attitudes related to hygiene and health; and how they impact the world around us. This report is based on findings of two research studies conducted in June and October 2021. The first sought to understand how changes forced upon people during the pandemic impacted their attitudes to the environment and sustainability. The second was conducted in the light of political and economic developments that will increase the cost of living in the UK; and asked how this might affect consumers’ ability and inclination to keep trying to live in a more sustainable way.

Our findings show that UK consumers are more conscious of their environmental impact and are optimistic about the potential positive impacts of actions they take as individuals. They are also prepared to pay a premium for environmentally sustainable goods and services.

But it is also clear that they are also anxious about the rising cost of living. With the costs of energy, food and other goods increasing, alongside planned tax rises, can people still afford to spend more time and money seeking environmentally sustainable goods and services? Our findings show that many are determined to try.

For Essity, it is vital to understand how we can support and enable our customers and consumers to act more sustainably. This is how we move forward in our work for a more sustainable future. I hope you will find this report informative and useful. We welcome you to learn more about our sustainability work at Essity.com.