Socially Responsible Shopping

A few years ago some considered corporate social responsibility a hot trend that was far less than a profitable. Luckily, a recent study on responsible shopping shows that nearly half of global consumers are likely to pay extra for products and services if the company gives back to society.

Global consumers concerned about making social or environmental changes in the world usually buy fair trade products or eco-friendly goods. However, many consumers are more than willing to purchase goods from companies that practice corporate social responsibility. This could mean donating proceeds to certain causes or starting their own programs to help others.

Nielsen conducted a survey of 28,000 participants from 56 countries. Their report shows that 46 percent of global consumers are willing to pay extra for products if the companies are socially-conscious. This issue seems to be more important for younger individuals (63 percent were under the age of 40) and for people in certain regions like the Asian Pacific (55 percent), Middle East/ Africa (53 percent) and Latin America (49 percent).

The Nielsen survey also researched which social and environmental causes global consumers hope these companies are contributing to. The survey showed that 66 percent believed that funds should be spent on “ensuring environmental sustainability.” Other important causes included “training in science, engineering, technology, and math” (56 percent), “poverty and hunger” (53 percent) and “relief for natural disasters” (52 percent).

Want to know which of your favorite companies are contributing to our society and the environment? There are some organizations that are dedicated to such research like the UK’s Ethical Consumer Research Association. Beware, however, there are many companies that falsely claim that themselves as ethical or socially responsible. Be sure to vet the accreditation organization to ensure impartial review of the companies.