Monthly Archives: March 2008

Consumers and Climate Change

“In a global survey, consumers say that a corporation’s performance in addressing the problems of the environment and climate change affects not only how much they trust the company but also whether they would buy its products.”

A recent study by McKinsey on consumer attitudes towards climate change reveals that consumers are making purchase decisions based on a company’s performance in addressing environmental issues such as climate change. Consumers also expect and want companies to promote the public good by providing healthier and safer products, good pension schemes, and more. According to a survey McKinsey conducted, 90% of consumers and 85% of executives believe that large corporations should play a broader role in society. More revealing is the fact that majorities responded that companies and governments should actually play an equal role in handling sociopolitical issues. There is also a disparity between executives and consumers perceptions on how large of a contribution executives are making. While 7 out of 10 North American executives describe their contribution as mostly or somewhat positive, only 4 out of 10 consumers agree. And in Europe the gap is even wider.

It looks like major CSR departments have a lot more work to do, and fast, if companies want to retain the trust and share of their consumers wallets. Perhaps it’s time for companies to start thinking about acquiring share of trust by being more pro-active in their environmental stewardship.

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