News Risk Management 17 Jan 2018

Australia:Six in ten believe businesses have a responsibility to prevent environmental damage

17 Jan 2018

Six in ten, or 58% of Australians believe businesses have a responsibility to ensure their supply chain does not harm the environment. However, just 41% of business owners and those in senior management share this view, suggesting a gulf of opinion between those at the helm of Australian brands and the wider public.

These were among findings of YouGov Omnibus research issued earlier this month, based on a poll of 9,000 APAC consumers (counting about 1,000 respondents each in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam).

The general Australian public came in second just behind Philippines, where 63% of consumers felt that businesses have a role in protecting the environment. Singapore and Malaysia came in third (56%) and fourth (52%) respectively, just above the APAC average of 50%. Thailand came in lowest of the surveyed countries at 42%.

57% believe businesses have a responsibility to ensure that their supply chain is free from harmful practices such as forced labour

A majority (57%) of Aussie consumers also believe businesses have a responsibility to ensure that their supply chain is free from damaging practices, such as forced labour, while more than four in ten Aussies feel that businesses have a responsibility to assist upskilling members of the community (48%) and giving to charity (45%).

55% of Aussies would be more likely to recommend a brand that gives even a small portion of its annual profits to charity

The study also found that if consumers were aware that a business was giving even a small portion of its annual profits to charity (up to 5%), two thirds (66%) would have a more positive opinion of the business. 

Regionally, 62% of APAC consumers would be more likely to recommend a brand to their friends and family if it gave a small portion of its annual profits to charity. This rises to 75% in Indonesia and 70% in Thailand but falls to 51% in Singapore and 55% in both Australia and Hong Kong.

Overall, nearly six in ten (56%) of Australians surveyed believe business should be doing more to help charities as a whole.

87% of Aussies think businesses have a responsibility to do social good, suggesting that corporate social responsibility (CSR) remains an important consideration for Australian brands.

This research shows a considerable proportion of consumers give weight to a brand’s ethics when making purchasing decisions, said YouGov. They would be more likely to both consider and recommend a brand that gives even a small amount to charity. Furthermore, that a majority of consumers believe that businesses have a responsibility to ensure that they have ethical supply chains suggests consumers expect ever more from brands.

In order to get ahead, brands now have to go beyond simply proving that their given product is a cut above the rest; smart business looking to distinguish themselves need to work hard to showcase their values as well, concluded the survey findings.

The data was collected online between 15 and 23 November 2017, with the 9,000 respondents from YouGov’s panel of over 5 million people worldwide.

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