Sustainable power generation: solar panels on the huge warehouse of Digitec Galaxus in Wohlen AG.
Even if the Corona pandemic has temporarily pushed the issue into the background, shopping is a burden on the environment. The mining of raw materials, the industrial production of products and the transport around the globe blow tons of CO2 and other pollutants into the atmosphere.
Digitec Galaxus wanted to know whether Swiss consumers would compensate for the CO2 footprint of their online consumption through a voluntary levy. The company itself plans to introduce a voluntary CO2 levy for orders at the end of May and to show transparently how much CO2 is caused by the purchase.
The online retailer commissioned a representative survey from the GfK market research institute. A total of 501 people in German-speaking and French-speaking Switzerland were surveyed.
The result: one in three Swiss residents would like to have the option of offsetting the CO2 emissions of their online purchases. Another third of the population finds such an option unnecessary or is undecided (see chart below).
Two trenches: Rösti and age
If you take a closer look at the answers, you can see two rifts. The first is the Röstigraben: German-speaking Swiss in particular would like to have a CO2 compensation option. In French-speaking Switzerland, on the other hand, only a good quarter of respondents answered that they would definitely or "rather" welcome the option of Co2-neutral shopping. Men also have a clearer opinion than women: More of them find offsetting both sensible and senseless.
The second divide is between the generations: It is mainly young Swiss people under the age of 30 and residents with a median household income of between 7,000 and 12,000 Swiss francs a month who want to reduce their ecological footprint.
Young and women like it high percentage
The survey participants were also asked how much they would be willing to pay if they had the option of CO2 compensation when shopping online. According to the survey, more than half of the Swiss would be willing to donate part of the value of the goods to environmental projects - even if for 15 out of 100 respondents it would be less than one percent of the purchase amount. A good quarter of those surveyed said that they would use the compensation option at most if it did not involve any direct costs.
Incidentally, women are much more willing to donate than men. The same applies to young Swiss people: among the under-30s, more than two-thirds would be willing to shell out money for environmental compensation. Seven percent of them would even be prepared to pay between 10 and 20 percent of the value of the goods - and one percent even more.
The stingiest are the 50- to 59-year-olds: For more than a third of those surveyed, reducing their carbon footprint is not worth a cent. The high-income earners are also big spenders: More than half of those who earn more than 12,000 Swiss francs per month in their household would donate more than one percent of the value of goods to environmental compensation.