Study shows: Demand for socially and sustainably produced products is increasing
Conserving natural resources, strengthening community or promoting culture – social engagement has many faces. A current study by the information and media company Nielsen shows that such a commitment can also pay off economically and is becoming increasingly important for the company’s success. 37 percent of German citizens are willing to reward socially responsible companies and accept higher prices. Even half of all consumers worldwide show a willingness to consume more sustainably.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR for short) is becoming an increasingly important success criterion for companies. This is the result of the current Nielsen CSR report. As a result, around 37 percent of German citizens are willing to reward CSR-oriented companies with the purchase of their products or services and to dig deeper into their pockets for this. For comparison: two years ago only 32 percent were ready to do so. This means that Germany is currently in the European average and even relatively far behind compared to other countries. Two thirds of the inhabitants of the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia are already willing to consume more sustainably with higher spending; in India it is even three quarters of those surveyed. A total of 58 countries were analyzed for the study.
A long way from willingness to act
The CSR report also shows the reason for the increased willingness to invest more in socially generated products: around 41 percent of those surveyed believe that companies create global problems through their business, but only 15 percent believe that they can solve these problems . However, only 26 percent of Germans stated that they had bought a product or service in the past six months because they knew that the company took on social responsibility. “Of course, someone who signals their willingness to do so will not necessarily actually spend more money on such products in reality,” analyzes Ingo Schier, Managing Director of Nielsen Germany. “Nevertheless, the survey results are a clear signal for companies that there is still a lot of leeway in this country for the right CSR commitments in order to win over and retain consumers.”
Socially responsible management as a success criterion
Traditional corporate philanthropy, such as donations to non-profit organizations, is also becoming increasingly popular, according to Schier. He advises companies to authentically adapt their social programs to their own goals and values in order to reach consumers successfully. “The question today is no longer whether consumers care about the social impact of companies, but what exactly and to what extent this takes place. The answer does not necessarily have to be classic social engagement, but can also generally lie in an increased sense of responsibility, more conscious economic activity or sustainable innovation. Regardless of which approach is followed: Nowadays, clever companies are investigating very carefully how they can hit this important nerve for consumers, ”explains Schier.