Bother could reduce the carbon footprint of the average UK household by 2.5%

Bother could reduce the carbon footprint of the average UK household by 2.5%

. 4 min read

What is this 2.5% and what does it mean?

Bother is a company that has been built with the environment in mind. From carbon neutral business operations to long-term vision to help change the industry, we are passionate about taking the onus off each customer’s choices and onto the place it belongs –  businesses. As such, we know that transparency is key and we believe it is crucial to give our customers the knowledge and confidence about the true impact that shopping with Bother could make on their carbon footprint. Which is why, in order we are as clear and concise as possible, we use this 2.5% reduction on an average UK household as the primary metric to communicate to our customers. It’s a tangible number – in fact it’s the same % carbon reduction that the entire UK has managed to achieve in each of the last 3 years.

It roughly equates to a saving of 220kg per household per year.

How is it calculated?

For clarity, we’re laying out the 7 key points here in order to show how we calculated this 2.5% reduction. For those interested, we then go on to break down each point - and their sources - below.

These current calculations are based on averages and on data that’s available. We will continue to calculate, collate and update these numbers as new official data is released. We are always looking to learn how to improve our process and welcome information from our customers.

1. Average UK household carbon emissions = 8,798kg

2. Car travel makes up 30% of average household emissions = 2,639kg

3. Shopping is 19% of car travel per average household = 501.5kg

4. Weekly grocery shop makes up 50% of average car travel = 250.7kg

5. Switching from weekly to monthly shopping could mean a 75% reduction and the remaining 25% can be up to 50% more efficient from multi-household delivery vs personal. Therefore switching to monthly deliveries would reduce travel for grocery shopping to 12.5% which is equivalent to 30kg

6. That’s a carbon saving of 220kg

7. 220kg is 2.5% of the 8,798kg

Let’s break these 7 key points down and have a look at their sources

1 & 2
Average household carbon emissions and car travel as a proportion of these

As reported by the BBC and sourced from The Committee on Climate Change (CCC)/BEIS data, annual emissions in kilogrammes of C02 in 2017 were 2,629kg, which is 30% of the total UK household emissions of 8,798kg.

How do we know shopping is 19% of these travel emissions?

According to the latest Department of Transport research we are told that 19% of ALL household travel is for shopping. This equates to 228 miles per household per month purely for shopping (this is the latest data available but will update as soon as new survey data is released).

What’s more, according to Nielsen data (sources linked below) this is predominantly grocery shopping (with the destination shop gaining in volume).

According to Nielson, 50% of all grocery shopping is now done in large destination shops (local convenience stores only taking up 39% of the volume). Interestingly, more than double the amount of food is bought locally at convenience stores than at these destination stores. This means that the main reason for travel to destination (car led) shopping trips are for heavy and costly household items which make up more than 2/3rd of that shop by value.

The Quest for Convenience
How the Cost of a Big Shop Really Differs Between Supermarkets
The Future of Grocery


And how do we calculate the proportion of car travel attributed to the grocery shop?

Based on the above, if 50% of grocery shopping is at a destination store then half of the 19% of emissions from shopping travel are linked to making that journey for the weekly grocery shop.

Why would switching to monthly deliveries reduce my carbon emissions?

Switching from weekly to monthly could mean a 75% reduction in distance travelled to shops. The remaining 25% can be up to 50% more efficient from multi-household delivery vs personal shops by cutting total mileage for 20 households by c.50%. Therefore, Bother could cut the distance travelled for the weekly shop to just 12.5% of its previous figure as customers will be buying in bulk once a month rather than a weekly shop.

Department for Transport Transport Statistics Great Britain 2018

Carbon saving extras from our operations
What’s more, by removing the need for delivery slots for our deliveries, we do not add to the peak time congestion that other delivery providers do which negates their carbon credentials.

DPD is our chosen delivery partner as they operate carbon neutral deliveries.

How does it become 220kg of carbon saved?

Using the logic from Point 5, we are cutting the travel per household to just 12.5% of its original volume. This means reducing the total carbon emissions from our average household grocery shop by 220kg.


220kg of carbon saved is equivalent to 2.5% of the average household emissions.

What does a saving of 220kg actually mean?

This is the equivalent to

And to put it into perspective of other average carbon usage:

  • 2kg of carbon can be saved for every journey under three miles for which we walk and don't use the car. So that’s 110 short walks
  • 30kg can be saved by switching the power off at nights in your house so that’s 7 nights of powered up homes
  • 8kg per restaurant meal so that's the same as 27 meals out
  • A fridge is responsible for 140kg of carbon annually, so that’s the same as keeping your fridge going for 1 and a half years
  • In a year, the average person will expend 70kg of energy on new clothes, 100kg by using washing machines. So that’s the same as over 2 years of washing machine usage and over 3 years of new clothes.