Doing good is good for business

TRENDAFRiCA June 28, 2013

An Ogilvy Earth South Africa Sustainability Survey reveals that consumers want to believe that the businesses they invest in and buy products from are behaving responsibly. Up to 88.2% of South Africans would in fact boycott a company or brand if they believed it was acting irresponsibly in the world.

A huge number of people (92.1%) want to know what businesses and brands are up to in terms of their actions – towards people and the environment – and this will then influence them in their buying habits.

Ogilvy Earth strategist, Melissa Baird, explains that this does not mean green-washing will work.  Nearly 60% of the survey sample say they can’t trust green claims made by brands and businesses and nearly 70% think that ‘green claims’ are just another money spinner.

Other results reveal that:

  • The majority of people (85.4%) feel that not enough attention is given to water conservation.
  • A massive 96% are concerned about whether a product is made from renewable resources.
  • Over 90% of the sample wants to know how to measure their own carbon footprint.
  • 82% agree that climate change will change the way we do business in the future.
  • Nearly everyone (96%) believes that recycling makes a positive difference to the environment.
  • More people this year (86% compared to 84% last year) care about where their food comes from.
  • People are prepared to pay a little more for products that adhere to environmentally and socially ethical standards (78%).
  • 91% of people believe that companies and brands should invest in development projects to help combat socio-economic problems.

“What’s also clear from this survey, is that we should not assume that what we do and what we say are not intrinsically linked and highly perceptible by our customers.  People are far more ‘savvy’ than we give them credit for,” says Baird.


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