Over half of Irish people make New Year resolution to live more sustainably

Over half of Irish people make New Year resolution to live more sustainably

Kenneth Fox

A total of 53 per cent of people say their New Year resolutions will include living more sustainably, according to a new AIB survey.

Half of people also say they do not take the environmental impact of deliveries from online shopping into consideration when buying online.

The latest AIB Sustainability Index, based on research conducted in December 2020 by Amárach Research, focuses on Irish attitudes, behaviours and intentions regarding climate and environmental sustainability.


The survey also found that 67 per cent say they will be likely to reduce the amount of packaging and single-use plastics they use, while almost half say they will demand more sustainable food options from their supermarket.

37 per cent of people state they are already being personally affected by climate change, while another 36 per cent say they expect to be impacted in the next 10 years

When it comes to 2021, 53 per cent of respondents state they will make living more sustainably a part of their New Year’s resolutions. In particular, the top behavioural changes mentioned were:


Intention % intent in next 12 months
Reduce the amount of packaging and single use plastics you use 67 per cent 
Become better informed about impacts of what you buy on the planet 49 per cent 
Demand more sustainable food options from your supermarket 48 per cent 
Switch to businesses that are doing more about sustainability 33 per cent 

Human activity


A total of 94 per cent believe human activity is having a negative impact on the planet, with 56 per cent believing that human activity is mainly responsible for climate change.

81 per cent of people think that collective effort is more important than individual behaviour when it comes to tackling climate change.

The survey found that price is still a key consideration, with 48 per cent saying they would be willing to pay a little more for greener home heating and 44 per cent willing to pay a little more for greener electricity, while still half would not be willing to pay more for these utilities.

With more people working from home and the other changes that have come about due to the pandemic, 37 per cent expect that the quality of their life after the pandemic will be better than it was before its onset, 19 per cent expect it will be worse, with the remaining third expecting no major change compared to pre-Covid-19.


Speaking about the latest index, Colin Hunt, AIB chief executive said: “Managing climate change is the most important challenge facing this generation. That is why earlier this year we committed to achieving Carbon Neutrality across our operations by 2030, using a Net Zero approach.

"That means cutting greenhouse gas emissions to as close to zero as possible - through elimination of carbon rather than offsetting it.

"We must also look beyond our own operations and the greatest impact that we can have on Ireland’s carbon footprint is by supporting our customers and helping them to transition to a low carbon economy."