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KPMG yesterday released a new study saying that "37% of consumers consider environmental sustainability and 33% consider social responsibility in buying decisions."

Other conclusions in the study:

•  "Over 75 percent of consumers are at least somewhat familiar social responsibility.
--over 50 percent of them associate social responsibility with diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI); employee human rights; health and safety; and fair wages."

•  "Over 75 percent of these consumers are looking for environmentally friendly products and/or packaging.  Approximately 50 percent of these consumers determine a product’s environmental sustainability based on product labels, descriptions, images, or marketing."

•  "50% of underage (age 13-17) Gen Z consumers are most likely to say that environmental sustainability is important to purchase decisions."

•  "Consumers are most likely to choose a product/service based on environmental sustainability features in the personal care products (48 percent), groceries (44 percent), restaurants (42 percent), and apparel (42 percent) categories."

•  "Of consumers who say a company’s social responsibility is important to their purchase decisions, over half (51 percent) determine a product’s social responsibility based on product labels."

•  "Underage (age 13-17) Gen Z consumers are more likely to say that social responsibility is important to their purchase decisions (41 percent versus 33 percent for overall consumers)."

•  "The categories for which consumers are most likely to choose a product or service based on social responsibility features are restaurants, apparel, and personal care products."

The conclusions are included in the 2023 KPMG Winter Consumer Pulse Survey.

KC's View:

We're in a moment when there are those who question why businesses should prioritize issues like sustainability and social responsibility, and this survey provides a partial answer to those questions - businesses should focus on these issues because a lot of customers want them to.

In addition, these investments represent a bet that a belief in sustainability and social responsibility will pay off in the long run.  Companies that are making these bets are capitalists - they want to make money for themselves and their investors.  

There will be other companies that will make different bets, and that's okay.  But the assaults on businesses and businesspeople who are betting on a more sustainable, socially responsible future makes absolutely no sense to me.  Though, maybe it is just another reflection of the intolerance and division that infects every corner of our culture.