Members of Gen X and Gen Y want to make the world a better place by supporting socially responsible companies when they shop and invest, according to studies that show younger individuals are more likely than their older counterparts to consider a company’s commitment to social causes.
Forty-six percent of consumers worldwide say they are willing to pay extra for products and services from companies with programs that give back to society, according to a new Nielsen survey of 28,000 individuals from 56 different countries. Nielsen is a global provider of data on consumer attitudes and behaviors.
Consumers under age 40 account for 63 percent of these socially-conscious consumers, reports Nielsen’s Global Corporate Citizenship Survey. Overall, younger consumers – members of Gen X and Gen Y – are more willing to spend more for products and services from socially responsible companies. More than 50 percent of all respondents age 15 to 39 are willing to pay extra for socially responsible products and services, compared to 37 percent of respondents older than 40.
“It’s clear that corporate social responsibility efforts resonate with a specific group of consumers,” said Nic Covey, vice president of Nielsen Cares, in a prepared statement.
Socially responsible consumers express the most concern over environmental, educational, and poverty and hunger issues, said the report. Two-thirds of socially conscious consumers identified environmental sustainability as a key issue, and 56 percent said they cared about improving science, technology, engineering and math education. More than half – 53 percent – placed a high priority on efforts to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.
Social concerns also guide financial decisions for a significant share of Gen X and Gen Y investors, according to a survey of 1,150 investors conducted by Millionaire Corner in February. Nearly half of investors age 40 and younger say they are very likely or likely to make socially responsible investments. The likelihood decreases steadily with age. About one-fourth of investors age 60 or older say they are likely to invest in socially responsible companies.
Environmentally responsible investments also have a strong appeal for younger investors, according to Millionaire Corner research. More than 40 percent say they are likely or very likely to make environmentally responsible investments, compared to 26 percent of investors older than 60.
Socially conscious consumers are more likely than other consumers to research purchases through social media, according to Nielsen.