BOSTON, May 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- No longer a nice-to-do, corporate social responsibility is now a reputational imperative – or liability. As revealed in the 2013 Cone Communications/Echo Global CSR Study, released today, companies are expected to be an active participant – if not a driving force – in solving the most pressing social and environmental issues. Corporations that disregard this consumer-demanded role risk more than their reputation – nine-in-10 global citizens say they would boycott if they learned of irresponsible behavior.
The study, a follow-up to the 2011 global survey of consumer attitudes, perceptions and behaviors around CSR, was conducted by Cone Communications and Echo Research. Reflecting the sentiments of more than 10,000 citizens in 10 of the largest countries in the world by GDP, including the United States, Canada, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, China, India and Japan, the research is complemented with insights from country-specific CSR experts.
"Consumers across the globe resoundingly affirm CSR as a critical business strategy," says Dan Soulas, managing director of Echo Research. "It is vital for companies to understand the unique, market-level nuances to effectively participate in the CSR interchange. A one-size-fits-all approach just won't work."CSR has never been more urgent – incidents of corporate negligence are tenaciously reported by mass media, but consumers all over the world are also taking to social channels to learn and engage around critical issues without constraint. Nearly two-thirds of global consumers (62%) say they use social media to address or engage with companies around CSR. Although the majority shares positive information with their networks, more than a quarter are communicating negative news:
- 34% of consumers use social media to share positive information about companies and issues
- 29% are using social media to learn more about specific organizations and issues
- 26% are using social media to share negative information
- 22% of consumers believes companies have made significant positive impact on social and environmental issues
- 27% believes consumers themselves can have significant positive impact through their purchases