Another reason to choose responsible investments

Consumers believe they have the power to change corporate Canada

Another reason to choose responsible investments
Steve Randall

Offering a good service or product, even at a great price, just isn’t enough for today’s Canadian consumer.

They want the businesses they use to care about real issues – meaning those that do are positing themselves for success.

A new global study by Accenture reveals that among the 1,500 Canadian consumers included, 52% want companies to take a stand on the social, cultural, environmental, and political issues close to their hearts.

And 55% say their purchasing decisions are influenced by the words, values, and actions of a company's leaders.

They want companies to use quality ingredients or materials, treat their employees well, and commit to protecting the environment including reducing the use of plastics.

These views of consumers tie-in with the increased interest by investors for responsible investments.

"In this era of radical transparency, consumers are voicing their opinions, values and beliefs, scrutinizing the actions of organizations and their leadership, and holding them accountable. They can see through inauthenticity and won't tolerate it," said Suzana Colic, a senior manager at Accenture Strategy. "Consumers' voices can change the financial trajectory of companies. They are more than buyers – they are active stakeholders who are investing their time and attention and want to feel a sense of shared purpose. The winners in this era will not be passive bystanders."

Changing businesses’ trajectory
The Accenture study shows that consumers believe that they have the power to force corporates to change their ways.

Over 61% believe their individual protest actions, such as boycotting a company or speaking out on social media, can make a difference in how companies behave. 27% have been disappointed by how a company acted which betrayed consumers' belief in what the company stands for, and 37% have stopped doing business with the company as a result.