At this time of the year, it’s always interesting to look back on things that transpired during the course of the year. Whether it’s the big news headlines, newly launched technologies or just the latest toy craze, it’s fun to reflect on what events kept us enrapt throughout the year.
Maybe it’s kind of geeky, but we find the same is true for sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR). As you can imagine, our reputation management team is bombarded on a daily basis with the latest research study, CSR Report or corporate gaffe. We’ve gotten pretty good at reviewing the information, disseminating what makes sense and incorporating the information into the business case for sustainability.
Here are just a few of some of the sustainability/CSR-related findings that have come across our desk in 2010 that we think should influence corporate strategies in 2011:
- Trust and transparency are now ranked equally as important as the quality of products and services when it comes to shaping the reputation of a company.
- While sustainability awareness among consumers has increased by 28% since 2007, only one in five consumers can actually identify a sustainable product and fewer can name a sustainable company. This exposes the huge opportunity companies have to step up their communications relating to sustainability and CSR with consumers.
- As a result of increased consumer demand, the number of products claiming to be “green” has increased by 73% since 2009 and big box stores are leading the way. In a recent study, big box stores were found to offer a much higher percentage of products with green certifications than specialty retailers or “green” boutiques. And, they were less likely to carry products that have unsupported environmental-related claims – “greenwashing.”