Being ‘neighbourly’ hasn’t always been an active experience amongst many UK communities, but new research conducted amongst 2,000 UK consumers by parcel locker firm InPost, has uncovered a growing sense of care and community spirit during COVID-19. Overall, more than two in five (41%) of Brits agree that they now think about the impact that environmental issues have on their local community and not just globally. The same number (41%) agree that they care more about their local area and have embraced community spirit.
Key report findings
- 43% agree that they’ve been going out of their way to make their community safer (for example by ensuring people are not exposed to coronavirus).
- 39% say that they’re now more invested in protecting their local community from environmental issues.
- Over half (54%) say they want to help their local community to be more sustainable (for example reduce pollution, reduce plastic waste).
- 47% agree that lockdown has increased awareness of vulnerabilities within their communities.
- The ‘friendliest’ region is Wales – with over 50% of consumers saying that they’ve ‘gone out of their way to help neighbours and get to know them better’, followed by Greater London with 45%. The top city for this is Liverpool (48%).
- The Welsh have also embraced community spirit the most and now care more about their local community (44%), followed by Greater London (43%). Southampton secured the highest city score for this – 50%.
- Shopping locally during the pandemic featured highly for consumers in Northern Ireland (60%) and Scotland (57%) – interestingly, both of these cities came top for supporting independent businesses during the pandemic also (57% and 55% respectively). Cities seeing the shop local more trend the most were Edinburgh (63%) and Plymouth (61%).
- The city most supportive of independent businesses during the pandemic was Plymouth – with 62% of respondents supporting them more. At the other end of the scale, just 38% of consumers in Brighton have been supporting these businesses more.
- Brits in the South East regions say that they’ve been going out of their way to make their community safer (e.g. by ensuring people are not exposed to coronavirus) the most – 46.38%, closely followed by those living in the East Midlands (46.21%).
- 60% of Brits intend to keep shopping locally.
- 58% of Brits plan to keep supporting independent businesses in future.
Jason Tavaria, CEO of InPost UK, commented: “It’s really encouraging to see an increased sense of community spirit and a nod towards more environmentally friendly behaviour. In many places not knowing who your neighbours are, let alone their names or shopping habits is the norm, but it appears that lockdown has changed more than we think. It has presented Brits with an opportunity to really consider how they want to live and work and support others, whilst heightening awareness of the impact of quieter roads and improved air quality.
“Making it easier for communities to engage in more sustainable activities is essential – especially whilst they’re more open to it. We’ve seen a three-fold increase in usage of our 24/7 outdoor parcel lockers during lockdown – with the contact free feature being a large attractor.”
With locker delivery, a courier can drop 50+ parcels in one stop, versus 50 stops criss-crossing residential streets to make home deliveries too. This results in vans spending less time on roads and two-thirds less in CO2 emissions used compared to home deliveries, as well as reducing congestion and improving air quality in cities.
Tavaria concluded: “Online shopping is increasing in popularity, but so too are returns. Consumers need to be aware of the impact of their online shopping habits and the effect it has on the environment. Parcel lockers can have a significant impact on carbon emissions and are ideal for savvy online shoppers looking for a sustainable and convenient delivery option when buying online.”