National Federation of Women's Institutes

September 15, 2005 05:43 ET


LONDON, ENGLAND--(CCNMatthews - Sep. 15, 2005) - WI's 90th anniversary research reveals women's concerns about the future of the planet

The Women's Institute is calling on the Government to take immediate action to reduce the UK's dependence on oil and to promote more sustainable ways of living, in order to safeguard the planet for future generations. The call coincides with the organisation's 90th anniversary today (16 September) and the launch of its new report 90@90: The impact of the past 90 years of consumer behaviour.

The research illustrates the impact of consumer behaviour on the environment and examines how we can live in a more sustainable way. Surveying over 2,000 WI members, the report found that 98% consume as ethically as possible, 84% recycle as much as possible and 90% are concerned about climate change.

The research shows that WI members are extremely concerned about inadequate public transport, food miles, wasteful packaging, the impact of hazardous man-made chemicals on health, traffic congestion, pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. They are calling on the Government to increase investment in green technologies, find ways of making aviation sustainable and reduce society's energy consumption.

Barbara Gill, Chairman of the National Federation of Women's Institutes (NFWI), said "With oil demand increasing and petrol prices rising, now is an ideal opportunity for the Government to commit to reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. WI members are deeply concerned about the social and environmental implications of the oil industry. Government and industry must take immediate and effective action to enable us to reduce society's impact on the planet."

WI members recently voted to launch a new campaign to protect the environment. In the past, the NFWI has campaigned on issues such as oil pollution, GM food and renewable energy. The NFWI is a founding member of the Fairtrade Foundation, involved in Make Poverty History and a member of the Stop Climate Chaos coalition.


For further information and a copy of 90@90: The impact of the past 90 years of consumer behaviour, please contact Amy Bick at the NFWI on 020 7371 9300 or 07803 086115. Email

Notes to editors:

The WI is the largest women's organisation in the UK with over 215,000 members. The charity campaigns on issues that matter to women and their communities from children's diets and human trafficking to GM foods and the environment.
Case studies of WI members, who took part in the research, are available for interview.
Case studies of projects set up by WI members to encourage sustainable living are also available.
The research was part funded by DEFRA's Environmental Action Fund.
A celebration event is taking place in Anglesey, Wales at the site of the first WI meeting in 1915 on Saturday 17 September. For further details, please contact the NFWI Wales office on 029 2022 1712.
The NFWI is a member of the Stop Climate Chaos coalition which campaigns for political action to stop human-induced climate change. Further details are available at

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