< Research Reports

Students, shopping and business behaviour

In January 2018, we carried research with students to find out more about their shopping habits, views on business behaviour and what action they'd like to see companies, NUS and their students' union taking.

The 1153 students that completed our online survey told us...

  • When asked what issues are most important in relation to business behaviour, human rights (92%), paying a living wage (88%), animal welfare (87%), air pollution (85%) and climate change (82%) were rated as the top five.
  • Two thirds say their shopping decisions have been influenced by ethical or environmental standards in the last year, however the main factors that are taken into consideration when making purchases are price (89%), budget (78%) and quality (76%).
  • 86% say they take reusable bags when shopping and 81% use refillable water bottles to reduce the amount of waste they produce.
  • Over three quarters want to see stronger action from government, with 79% saying they would support a tax on suppliers and manufacturers based on the amount of non-recyclable packaging used.
  • Respondents also want to see more information provided on the ethical and environmental credentials of products available in their students' union shops and catering outlets (67%) along with these venues stocking a wider range of products with positive credentials (63%).


Student Opinion: Students, shopping and business behaviour - 2018