CSR: Expectation higher for Tech, food and fashion sectors to show they care

Feb 11, 2019 | Online advertising

People are more aware of how their buying decisions impact the world around them and want all industries to commit to corporate social responsibility, especially the technology, food, and fashion industries.

Consumers typically associate the food, technology, and fashion industries with corporate social responsibility, according to a study by Clutch, a leading B2B research, ratings, and reviews firm.

Clutch surveyed 420 consumers from across the U.S. to learn more about what specific actions people want businesses in different industries to take. We found that:

  • People most often cited the food retail (70%), technology (70%), and fashion (65%) industries as those they associate the most with corporate social responsibility.
  • 72% of people say the technology industry should commit to protecting people’s data and privacy.
  • More than two-thirds of people (67%) think that grocery retailers should feed the local community.
  • More than half of people (58%) think that the fashion industry should use ethically-sourced materials and 53% of people think it’s important for the fashion industry to use fair labor practices
  • People expect food-related industries, like grocery retailers (70%) and restaurants (62%), to commit to corporate social responsibility, followed by the technology (70%) and fashion (65%) industries.

Since these industries produce things consumers use daily, experts say it’s no surprise that consumers expect a higher level of social responsibility from them.

“With food, you’re putting those things in your body,” said Jen Bemisderfer, managing director of RH Strategic, a public relations agency in Seattle. “With clothing, you’re wearing it on your body or next to your body. It might seem that technology wouldn’t fit along these lines, but we treat smartphones today as an extension of ourselves.”

Consumers expect businesses in these industries to act in different ways depending on how they’re naturally positioned to support the wellbeing of individuals, local communities, and the global community.

Technology Users Expect Privacy and Data Protection

Among people that expect the technology industry to commit to corporate social responsibility, 72% of those people say technology companies should focus on data and privacy.

Michael Gargiulo, CEO of VPN.com, said businesses need to improve security and protect their customers’ data.

Businesses also need to be transparent about security breaches when they happen so people are informed.

People Want Restaurants to Address Issues of Food Insecurity

People primarily want grocery retailers (67%) and restaurants (71%) to address local food insecurity by feeding those in need.

Chicken & Rice Guys, a Boston-based food truck, saw feeding their local community as a natural social responsibility effort and a clear extension of their brand.

“Making and serving hot, delicious food is what we do best, so it’s only natural we focus on issues of food insecurity and hunger within our community,” said Steve Collicelli, business manager of Chicken & Rice Guys.

People Want to Know How the Fashion Industry Sources Its Materials

People want to know how the fashion industry manufactures its products and more than half of people (58%) want the fashion industry to use ethically-sourced materials.

Overall, the report suggests that consumers place greater emphasis on how businesses support individuals, local populations, and the global community.

“In recent years, we have seen increasing interest from consumers in understanding how and where their products are sourced and in supporting companies that use business for positive social change,” said Beth Gerstein, co-founder and co-CEO of Brilliant Earth.

Clutch’s 2019 PR and Corporate Social Responsibility Survey included 420 U.S. consumers who made a purchase within the last six months.

Read the full report here

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