We’re in a period of rapid change concerning environmental and social concerns and the perception of corporate responsibility. In the past, the majority accepted and believed that a company’s overarching responsibility was economic development.
Times are a-changing.
The 2013 Cone Communications/Echo Global CSR Study surveyed 10,287 consumers online from ten countries: the United States, Canada, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, China, India and Japan. Out of the people surveyed, they found that:
- 31% believed business should align with greater social and environmental needs
- 88% felt a responsibility for purchasing socially and environmentally responsible products
- 91% are likely to switch to responsible products, given comparable price and quality
- 67% have bought a responsible product in the last year
- 50% have boycotted a product they felt wasn’t responsible in the last year
However, the real changes are happening in China. A recent survey of 3,400 people in thirty-four cities found that almost 80% believed that environmental protection should be a higher priority than economic development.
Chinese citizens are growing increasingly angry at the levels of pollution in their country and demanding change.
Chinese officials are taking this outrage seriously. In addition to fines and prison time, authorities recently gave courts the authority to hand down the death sentence to the most serious of corporate polluters.
That is quite a turn-around for a country that was focused on economic growth at all costs.
It gives the ROI of corporate sustainability a whole new meaning…