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Attitudes Toward Corporate Social Responsibility - US - September 2012

Attitudes toward Corporate Social Responsibility: A definition

CSR refers to operating a business in a manner that accounts for the social and environmental impact created by the business. Examples of corporate social responsibility would be reducing environmental impact, fair labor practices, giving charitable donations, community involvement, fair trade, etc.

For the purposes of this report, Mintel commissioned exclusive consumer research through GMI to explore consumer attitudes toward corporate social responsibility. Mintel was responsible for the survey design, data analysis, and reporting. Fieldwork was conducted in June 2012 among a sample of 2,000 adults aged 18+ with access to the internet.

Mintel selects survey respondents so that they are proportionally balanced to the entire U.S. adult population based on the key demographics of gender, age, household income, and region. Mintel also slightly oversamples, relative to the population, respondents that are Hispanic or black to ensure an adequate representation of these groups in our survey results. Please note that our surveys are conducted online and in English only. Hispanics who are not online and/or do not speak English are not included in our survey results.

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Consumer survey data
            • Advertising creative
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                  • Terms
                  • Executive Summary

                      • CSR overview
                        • Drivers of CSR
                          • Leading companies
                            • Figure 1: Survey respondents’ top 15 named socially responsible/irresponsible companies or brands (unaided), June 2012
                          • The consumer
                            • Relatively few say that ethical behavior impacts purchasing decisions
                              • Figure 2: How corporate social responsibility impacts purchasing behavior, June 2012
                            • Women, older consumers, and less affluent are most likely to be influenced by CSR
                              • Figure 3: How corporate responsibility impacts purchasing behavior, by gender, age, and household income, June 2012
                            • Good behavior positively impacts purchasing, but bad behavior is a stronger negative
                              • Figure 4: How good corporate behavior affects purchasing decisions, by how corporate responsibility impacts purchasing behavior, June 2012
                              • Figure 5: How bad corporate behavior affects purchasing decisions, by how corporate responsibility impacts purchasing behavior, June 2012
                            • Claims of conservation and local support are most influential CSR attributes
                              • Figure 6: Socially responsible attributes that influenced a purchase of those whose purchasing decisions are impacted by corporate ethical behavior, June 2012
                            • Local, labor, clarity of commitment are most compelling CSR initiatives
                              • Figure 7: Types of company social responsibility initiatives interested in learning about, June 2012
                            • Millennials take a broader view of CSR
                              • Figure 8: Types of company social responsibility initiatives aware/impacted consumers are interested in learning about, by generation, June 2012
                            • Supporting local businesses, reducing waste, and accountability are most important
                              • Figure 9: Most and least important issues related to corporate social responsibility, June 2012
                            • Older generations think business and CSR can be successfully combined
                              • Figure 10: Attitudes toward corporate social responsibility—business priorities, by generation, June 2012
                            • Millennials least likely to share in the responsibility; but want to learn more
                              • Figure 11: Attitudes toward corporate social responsibility—shared responsibility, by generation, June 2012
                            • More than half of Millennials support government enforcement of CSR
                              • Figure 12: Attitudes toward corporate social responsibility—enforcement/accountability, by generation, June 2012
                            • Ethical behavior expected regardless of race; CSR impact on purchasing is similar
                              • Figure 13: Attitudes toward company ethical behavior, October 2010-November 2011*, and how corporate social responsibility impacts purchasing behavior, by race/Hispanic origin, June 2012**
                            • What we think
                            • Issues Impacting CSR

                                • Can a corporation be a “good company” without the cosmetics of CSR?
                                  • Do CSR rankings and ratings do more harm than good?
                                    • Will corporations adopt CSR if it means profitability will suffer?
                                      • Will CSR become a mandatory and regulated “cost of doing business” in the U.S.?
                                      • Insights and Opportunities

                                        • India on track to be the first country to make CSR mandatory
                                          • CSR marketing should align with a company’s core business
                                            • “Connected Capitalism” may be the next evolution of CSR
                                              • Let’s hear it for the girls
                                              • Trend Application

                                                  • Inspire Trend: Patriot Games
                                                    • Inspire Trend: Without a Care
                                                      • Inspire 2015 Trends
                                                        • Brand Intervention
                                                        • Drivers of CSR

                                                          • Overview
                                                            • Global social and financial concerns drive CSR activism
                                                              • Government adoption of new CSR principles and policies drive CSR
                                                                • Consumer expectations of ethical behavior drive CSR
                                                                  • Figure 14: Attitudes toward company ethical behavior, by gender, age, household income, October 2010-November 201
                                                                • New generation of workers desire companies that benefit society
                                                                  • Figure 15: Importance of having a job or career that benefits society, 18-34s vs. 35+, December 2011
                                                                • Follow the leaders: most large companies issue sustainability reports
                                                                • Leading Companies

                                                                  • Key points
                                                                    • CSR ratings and rankings abound
                                                                      • Familiarity, revenue performance, scandal place big names on both lists
                                                                        • Figure 16: Survey respondents’ top 15 named socially responsible/irresponsible companies or brands (unaided), June 2012
                                                                      • Most profitable companies are named as most socially irresponsible
                                                                        • Figure 17: Revenue of top companies named by survey respondents for being socially responsible/irresponsible, August 2012
                                                                    • Innovations and Innovators

                                                                        • Social, philanthropic, and sustainable innovations in CSR
                                                                          • Starbucks, U.S.: “Create Jobs for USA” supports domestic manufacturing
                                                                            • BodyTech gym, Brazil: incorporating one-for-one donations to lose and gain weight
                                                                              • Figure 18: BodyTech Weight Donation video, 2012
                                                                            • Kraft Foods Foundation, U.S.: Feeding America brings mobile pantry to food deserts
                                                                              • Starbucks, Hong Kong: transforming food waste to raw ingredients for new products
                                                                                • Molson Coors Canada: Investing in responsible drinking education
                                                                                  • Social media use in CSR
                                                                                    • Tata Docomo, India: The BloodLine Club
                                                                                      • Figure 19: The BloodLine Club, 2012
                                                                                    • Join My Village, Africa and India: One-for-one donations to multiple causes
                                                                                      • Figure 20: Join My Village, 2012
                                                                                  • CSR Marketing of Leading Companies

                                                                                    • Overview
                                                                                      • Apple Computer, Inc.
                                                                                        • Sony: make. believe
                                                                                          • Figure 21: Sony “For the next generation” Japanese print advertisement, August 2012
                                                                                        • Walmart: Save money. Live better.
                                                                                          • Websites
                                                                                            • Figure 22: Walmart website homepage, August 2012
                                                                                            • Figure 23: Walmart Community, Walmart solar, August 2012
                                                                                          • YouTube videos
                                                                                            • Figure 24: Children’s Miracle Network Ohio: Walmart Associates Say Thank You, YouTube video, August 2012
                                                                                            • Figure 25: Walmart 12 Days of Giving, YouTube video, December 2011
                                                                                            • Figure 26: The meaning of shareholders, YouTube video, July 2011
                                                                                            • Figure 27: Walmart Neighborhood Market, YouTube video, July 2011
                                                                                          • Facebook
                                                                                            • McDonald’s: I’m lovin’ it.
                                                                                              • Websites
                                                                                                • Figure 28: McDonald’s website homepage, August 2012
                                                                                              • YouTube videos
                                                                                                  • Figure 29: McDonald’s USA Listening Tour Sustainability, Nutrition and Our Food, May 2012
                                                                                                  • Figure 30: McDonald’s Road to Sustainability, January 2010
                                                                                                • BP Oil: Beyond Petroleum
                                                                                                  • Websites
                                                                                                    • Figure 31: BP’s website homepage, August 2012
                                                                                                  • YouTube videos
                                                                                                    • Figure 32: BP fuels America. America fuels BP., January 2010
                                                                                                    • Figure 33: BP Gulf Coast Update: Our Ongoing Commitment, December 2011
                                                                                                • CSR Impact on Purchasing Behavior

                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                    • Relatively few say that ethical behavior impacts purchasing decisions
                                                                                                      • Figure 34: How corporate social responsibility impacts purchasing behavior, June 2012
                                                                                                    • Contradictory patterns emerge in CSR’s impact on purchasing
                                                                                                        • Figure 35: How corporate responsibility impacts purchasing behavior, by gender, age, and household income, June 2012
                                                                                                    • Impact of Good and Bad Corporate Behavior

                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                        • Good corporate behavior has a positive impact on purchasing
                                                                                                          • Figure 36: How good corporate behavior affects purchasing decisions, by how corporate responsibility impacts purchasing behavior, June 2012
                                                                                                        • Even among CSR-aware, Millennials are the least likely to be impacted
                                                                                                          • Figure 37: How good corporate behavior affects purchasing decisions of those aware/impacted, by generation, June 2012
                                                                                                        • Bad behavior is a stronger negative than good behavior is a positive
                                                                                                          • Figure 38: How bad corporate behavior affects purchasing decisions, by how corporate responsibility impacts purchasing behavior, June 2012
                                                                                                        • Nine in 10 who are impacted by corporate behavior avoid bad companies
                                                                                                          • Figure 39: How bad corporate behavior affects purchasing decisions of those aware/impacted, by generation, June 2012
                                                                                                      • Socially Responsible Attributes’ Impact on Purchases

                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                          • Conservation and local support claims are most influential
                                                                                                              • Figure 40: Based a purchase on a socially responsible attribute, by how corporate responsibility impacts purchasing behavior, June 2012
                                                                                                            • Environmental responsibility is an expectation for most
                                                                                                              • Figure 41: Attitudes toward the environment, by age, October 2010-November 2011
                                                                                                            • Despite tepid environmental attitudes, Millennials support responsibility
                                                                                                                • Figure 42: Based a purchase on a socially responsible attribute, by generation, June 2012
                                                                                                            • CSR Initiatives of Interest

                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                • Local, labor, clarity of commitment are most compelling CSR initiatives
                                                                                                                    • Figure 43: Types of company social responsibility initiatives interested in learning about, by how corporate responsibility impacts purchasing behavior, June 2012
                                                                                                                  • Millennials take a broader view of CSR
                                                                                                                      • Figure 44: Types of company social responsibility initiatives aware/impacted consumers are interested in learning about, by generation, June 2012
                                                                                                                  • Most and Least Important CSR Issues

                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                      • Local business support, waste reduction, accountability most important
                                                                                                                        • Figure 45: Most and least important issues related to corporate social responsibility, June 2012
                                                                                                                      • Corporate watchers tuned into the environment, others support business
                                                                                                                        • Figure 46: Most important issues related to corporate social responsibility, by how corporate responsibility impacts purchasing behavior, June 2012
                                                                                                                      • Millennials’ opinions on CSR issues buck overall trends
                                                                                                                          • Figure 47: Most important issues related to corporate social responsibility, by generation, June 2012
                                                                                                                      • Attitudes Toward CSR

                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                          • “American made” and economic recovery is top of mind; relates to CSR
                                                                                                                            • Figure 48: Attitudes toward corporate social responsibility, June 2012
                                                                                                                          • Patriotic buying and supporting local business is socially responsible
                                                                                                                            • Figure 49: Attitudes toward corporate social responsibility—patriotism/local, by how corporate responsibility impacts purchasing behavior, June 2012
                                                                                                                          • Older consumers take a stronger stance on buying American
                                                                                                                            • Figure 50: Attitudes toward corporate social responsibility—patriotism/local, by generation, June 2012
                                                                                                                          • Efficiency and profitability are priorities over CSR—both would be nice
                                                                                                                            • Figure 51: Attitudes toward corporate social responsibility—business priorities, by how corporate responsibility impacts purchasing behavior, June 2012
                                                                                                                          • Older generations think business success and CSR go hand in hand
                                                                                                                            • Figure 52: Attitudes toward corporate social responsibility—business priorities, by generation, June 2012
                                                                                                                          • Majority feels that consumers should share responsibility with companies
                                                                                                                            • Figure 53: Attitudes toward corporate social responsibility—shared responsibility, by how corporate responsibility impacts purchasing behavior, June 2012
                                                                                                                          • Millennials least likely to share responsibility, but want to learn more
                                                                                                                              • Figure 54: Attitudes toward corporate social responsibility—shared responsibility, by generation, June 2012
                                                                                                                            • Companies should “give back” as a requirement for doing business
                                                                                                                              • Figure 55: Attitudes toward corporate social responsibility—enforcement/accountability, by how corporate responsibility impacts purchasing behavior, June 2012
                                                                                                                            • Millennials most supportive of government enforcement
                                                                                                                              • Figure 56: Attitudes toward corporate social responsibility—enforcement/accountability, by generation, June 2012
                                                                                                                          • Impact of Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                              • Ethical behavior expected; CSR impacts purchasing behavior
                                                                                                                                • Figure 57: Attitudes toward company ethical behavior, by race/Hispanic origin, October 2010-November 2011
                                                                                                                                • Figure 58: How corporate social responsibility impacts purchasing behavior, by race/Hispanic origin, June 2012
                                                                                                                              • Impact of good and bad corporate behavior
                                                                                                                                • Figure 59: How good and bad corporate behavior affects purchasing decisions, by race/Hispanic origin, June 2012
                                                                                                                              • Socially responsible attributes’ impact on purchases
                                                                                                                                • Figure 60: Based a purchase on a socially responsible attribute, by race/Hispanic origin, June 2012
                                                                                                                                • Figure 61: Attitudes toward the environment, by race/Hispanic origin, October 2010-November 2011
                                                                                                                              • CSR initiatives of interest
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 62: Types of company social responsibility initiatives interested in learning about, by race/Hispanic origin, June 2012
                                                                                                                                • Most important CSR issues
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 63: Most important issues related to corporate social responsibility, by race/Hispanic origin, June 2012
                                                                                                                                • Attitudes toward CSR
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 64: Attitudes toward corporate social responsibility, by race/Hispanic origin, June 2012
                                                                                                                                • Appendix: Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                  • CSR impact on purchasing behavior
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 65: How corporate social responsibility impacts purchasing behavior, by employment, June 2012
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 66: How corporate social responsibility impacts purchasing behavior, by gender and presence of children in household, June 2012
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 67: How corporate social responsibility impacts purchasing behavior, by generation, June 2012
                                                                                                                                  • Impact of good and bad corporate behavior
                                                                                                                                    • Good behavior
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 68: How good corporate behavior affects purchasing decisions, by gender, June 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 69: How good corporate behavior affects purchasing decisions, by household income, June 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 70: How good corporate behavior affects purchasing decisions, by race/Hispanic origin, June 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 71: How good corporate behavior affects purchasing decisions, by gender and presence of children in household, June 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 72: How good corporate behavior affects purchasing decisions, by generation, June 2012
                                                                                                                                    • Bad behavior
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 73: How bad corporate behavior affects purchasing decisions, January 2010 and June 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 74: How bad corporate behavior affects purchasing decisions, by gender, June 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 75: How bad corporate behavior affects purchasing decisions, by household income, June 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 76: How bad corporate behavior affects purchasing decisions, by race/Hispanic origin, June 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 77: How bad corporate behavior affects purchasing decisions, by gender and presence of children in household, June 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 78: How bad corporate behavior affects purchasing decisions, by generation, June 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 79: How bad corporate behavior affects purchasing decisions of those aware/impacted, by household income, June 2012
                                                                                                                                    • Socially responsible attributes’ impact on purchases
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 80: Based a purchase on a socially responsible attribute, by gender, June 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 81: Based a purchase on a socially responsible attribute, by household income, June 2012
                                                                                                                                    • CSR initiatives of interest
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 82: Types of company social responsibility initiatives interested in learning about, by gender, June 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 83: Types of company social responsibility initiatives interested in learning about, by household income, June 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 84: Types of company social responsibility initiatives interested in learning about, by gender and presence of children in household, June 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 85: Types of company social responsibility initiatives interested in learning about, by generation, June 2012
                                                                                                                                    • Most important CSR issues
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 86: Most important issues related to corporate social responsibility, by household income, June 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 87: Most important issues related to corporate social responsibility, by gender and presence of children in household, June 2012
                                                                                                                                    • Attitudes toward CSR
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 88: Attitudes toward corporate social responsibility, by gender, June 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 89: Attitudes toward corporate social responsibility, by age, June 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 90: Attitudes toward corporate social responsibility, by household income, June 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 91: Attitudes toward corporate social responsibility, by gender and presence of children in household, June 2012
                                                                                                                                    • Leading companies
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 92: Can think of and name socially responsible and irresponsible companies/brands, June 2012
                                                                                                                                    • Open ends
                                                                                                                                      • Socially responsible categories, companies, and brands
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 93: Categories of socially responsible companies or brands (unaided), June 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 94: Socially responsible retailers, CPG, and tech companies/brands (unaided), as indicated by survey respondents, June 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 95: Socially responsible household, media, and apparel companies/brands (unaided), as indicated by survey respondents, June 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 96: Socially responsible foodservice, auto, and energy companies/brands (unaided), as indicated by survey respondents, June 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 97: Socially responsible appliance, toy, and telecom companies/brands (unaided), as indicated by survey respondents, June 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 98: Socially responsible travel and insurance companies/brands (unaided), as indicated by survey respondents, June 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Socially irresponsible categories, companies, and brands
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 99: Categories of socially irresponsible companies or brands (unaided), as indicated by survey respondents, June 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 100: Socially irresponsible retail stores, financial, and energy companies/brands (unaided), as indicated by survey respondents, June 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 101: Socially irresponsible media, foodservice, and tech companies/brands (unaided), as indicated by survey respondents, June 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 102: Socially irresponsible CPG, household, and apparel companies/brands (unaided), as indicated by survey respondents, June 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 103: Socially irresponsible auto, telecom, and chemical companies/brands (unaided), as indicated by survey respondents, June 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 104: Socially irresponsible insurance, government, personal care companies/brands (unaided), as indicated by survey respondents, June 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 105: Socially irresponsible insurance, government, personal care companies/brands (unaided), June 2012
                                                                                                                                    • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                      Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                      • Amazon.com Inc
                                                                                                                                      • Apple, Inc
                                                                                                                                      • BP Oil UK (retail)
                                                                                                                                      • BP p.l.c.
                                                                                                                                      • Dell Inc.
                                                                                                                                      • Exxon Mobil Corporation
                                                                                                                                      • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                      • Google, Inc.
                                                                                                                                      • Hewlett-Packard Company
                                                                                                                                      • Kraft Foods Inc. (U.S.A.)
                                                                                                                                      • McDonald's U.S.A.
                                                                                                                                      • Microsoft USA
                                                                                                                                      • Nike
                                                                                                                                      • Procter & Gamble USA
                                                                                                                                      • Sony Corporation of America
                                                                                                                                      • Starbucks Corporation
                                                                                                                                      • Walgreen Co
                                                                                                                                      • Walmart Stores (USA)
                                                                                                                                      • Whole Foods Market Inc
                                                                                                                                      • YouTube, Inc.

                                                                                                                                      Attitudes Toward Corporate Social Responsibility - US - September 2012

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