One of the current Government’s key objectives is to make Ireland the best small country in which to do business. Part of this has been the launch of The National Plan on Corporate Social Responsibility which articulates a vision for Ireland to be recognised as a Centre of Excellence for responsible and sustainable business practices. So how much do individuals care about corporate social responsibility and does it have any bearing on our buying decisions?
Recent results from a Nielsen Global Survey on this topic suggest that it does. In the past six months forty-five percent of Irish respondents claim to have purchased at least one product or service because they knew that the company was committed to positive social and environmental impact. This is above the EU average of forty percent. While thirty one percent claim to check the packaging to ensure the company has made such positive commitments before they choose to buy.
However, are we willing to pay more for such reassurances? In Ireland it appears we are with forty-three percent saying they are willing to pay extra for products and services that come from socially responsible companies. This is slightly above the EU average of forty percent.
Would it affect our choice of employer? Over half of Irish respondents said they would prefer to work for a company that is committed to positive social and environmental impact and forty-three percent saying they actively engage in volunteer work or donate monetarily to socially and environmentally committed organisations.
ABOUT THE NIELSEN GLOBAL SURVEY
The Nielsen Global Survey about Corporate Social Responsibility was conducted between Feb. 17 and March 7, 2014, and polled more than 30,000 consumers in 60 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America. The sample has quotas based on age and sex for each country based on its Internet users, and is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers. It has a margin of error of ±0.6 percent. This Nielsen survey is based only on the behavior of respondents with online access. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60 percent Internet penetration or an online population of 10 million for survey inclusion. The Nielsen Global Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Index, was established in 2005.