Corporate responsibility lures consumers

More than ever, American consumers and employees are making businesses’ social investments part of their buying and employment decisions, a new study says.

More than eight in 10 people polled for Cone’s 2007 Cause Evolution Survey say businesses have an obligation to support causes, and more than two in three factor that into their purchasing decisions.

Almost nine in 10 say they would switch to another company they believe to be more socially conscious, assuming price and quality were the same.

However, the proportion of people saying they have told friends or family about a company’s social commitment has dropped by almost a third since 2004 to three in 10.

More employees are considering companies’ social responsibility track records when deciding where to work, the report says, up to more than three in four from fewer than half in 2001.

Almost three-quarters of employees say they would like their employers to do more to support a cause, up by more than half since 2004.

Eight in 10 Americans would like companies to support health-related causes, more than any other issue area, followed by education, the environment and economic development, all of which were noted by more than three in four people.

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