Organic Consumers Association

US Consumers Want Corporations to be Socially Responsible



Today more than ever, Americans are forming opinions of a company's
reputation based on its corporate citizenship and community impacts.

Cone defines corporate citizenship as a series of integral business
practices that demonstrate the positive interaction between companies and their
stakeholders, the environment and the communities in which they operate.

Americans have high expectations for corporate citizenship:
· 78% say that companies have a responsibility to support social issues

· 89% say that in light of Enron and WorldCom, it's more important than
ever for companies to be socially responsible

Americans react against negative corporate citizenship practices:
· 91% will consider switching to another co's products or services
· 85% will speak out against that company among family and friends
· 83% will refuse to invest in that co's stock
· 80% will refuse to work at that co.
· 76% will boycott that co's products or services

Cause branding positively influences American decisions:
· 75% say a co's commitment to social issues is important when deciding
which products/services to recommend to others
· 84% say a co's commitment to social issues is important when deciding
which co's i want to see doing biz. in my community
· 77% say a co's commitment to social issues is important when deciding
where to work
· 66% say a co's commitment to social issues is important when deciding
which stocks/mutual funds to invest in

Cause branding reinforces relationships with consumers:
· 92% say they have a more positive image of companies and products that
support causes
· 87% report they are more likely to remember a company when they see
info about its social activities
· 84% say they would be likely to switch brands to one associated with a
good cause, if price and quality are similar
· 2/3 of Americans agree they are more loyal to companies and products
that support social issues

Americans want to know:
· 86% agree that co's should tell them the ways in which they are
supporting social issues
· An overwhelming majority say they prefer to find out about corporate
citizenship activities from a third party source, particularly the media

Education tops Americans' list of priorities:
· Top 5 issues: education, medical research, poverty, environment,
college scholarships

Best practices in corporate citizenship and cause branding:
· Implement corporate citizenship policies across the board-be
transparent in disclosing financial info, treat employees fairly, adopt

environmentally safe practices, etc
· Build your values into corporate culture
· Develop a signature cause branding initiative to resonate with key
· Engage your employees
· Do what you say, say what you do

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