Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Global Consumers Seeking Greater Corporate Social Responsibility

Consumers in major countries across the globe have begun acting on their desires for a higher level of responsibility by companies in dealing with societal issues.

This global consumer movement is revealed in the 2011 Cone/Echo Global CR Opportunity Study which was conducted earlier this year in 10 countries (USA, Canada, Brazil, UK, Germany, France, Russia, China, India and Japan) comprising roughly half the world's population. Over 10,000 consumers were surveyed.
The top three results were:
  • 81% of consumers say companies have a responsibility to address key social and environmental issues beyond their local communities.
  • 93% of consumers say companies must go beyond their legal compliance to operate responsibly.
  • 94% of consumers say companies must analyze and evolve their business practices to make their impact as positive as possible.
These consumers believe it is important for companies to address a full range of social and environmental issues, including:
  • economic development (96%)
  • environment (96%)
  • water (95%)
  • human rights (94%)
  • education (90%)
  • health and disease (90%)
  • poverty and hunger (87%)
Importantly, 94% of respondents indicated they are likely to buy a product that has an environmental benefit (76% did so in the previous 12 months) or one that is associated with a cause (65% purchased cause-related products in the past year).
Additionally, 93% said they would boycott a company for irresponsibility, with over half saying they have already done so.
Consumers are already using their own spending and loyalty to press their demands for greater corporate social responsibility, as this research clearly shows.

Now the question becomes, is anyone in the corporate world listening?

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