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Attitudes toward Corporate Social Responsibility - US - July 2018

"In today’s highly polarized times, consumers increasingly want to know that they share consistent values with the companies they purchase from. As a result, CSR (corporate social responsibility) programs have grown far beyond token charitable initiatives and in some cases are completely reshaping how companies do business. The challenges are great and the stakes are quite high – today’s empowered consumers can be quick to express outrage on Twitter and organize boycotts, yet may not always be willing to pay more for ethically sourced and produced products. Understanding attitudes towards corporate responsibility is thus critical to navigating this complex new world."
- Dana Macke, Associate Director - Lifestyles & Leisure

This Report looks at the following areas:

  • Consumers value CSR
  • CSR can lift brand perception...
  • …but success isn’t easy

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Overview
          • The issues
            • Consumers value CSR
              • Figure 1: Importance of CSR, by select demographics, May 2018
            • CSR can lift brand perception...
              • Figure 2: Perceptions of CSR initiatives – select items, May 2018
            • …but success isn’t easy
              • Figure 3: Impact of CSR on purchasing behavior, by select demos, May 2018
            • The opportunities
              • Appeal to iGens with CSR
                • Figure 4: iGen attitudes and behavior regarding CSR, May 2018
              • Employment issues have the broadest appeal
                • Figure 5: Areas of focus for companies, by select demographics, May 2018
              • Promote CSR through a broad range of channels
                • Figure 6: Promoting CSR, May 2018
              • What it means
              • Understanding CSR – What You Need to Know

                • Multiple facets
                  • Social a significant driver
                    • A time of division
                    • Components of CSR

                        • Values
                          • Corporate giving
                            • Sustainability and the environment
                              • Employment practices
                                • Product health and safety
                                  • Privacy and data protection
                                  • Factors Shaping CSR in 2018

                                    • The rise of social
                                      • Figure 7: Social media usage, February 2018
                                    • iGens enter the workforce
                                      • Figure 8: iGen political concerns, March 2017
                                    • A polarized political climate
                                      • Figure 9: Attitudes toward trends – Be the Change, January 2017
                                    • Impact of the #MeToo movement
                                    • CSR Case Studies – What You Need to Know

                                      • Doing well by doing good
                                        • Speak out – Fast
                                          • Avoid contradiction
                                            • A new sense of mission
                                            • What’s Working?

                                              • Practice good business
                                                • Hide the broccoli
                                                  • Be decisive
                                                  • What’s Struggling?

                                                    • Silence is not an option
                                                      • Consistency is key
                                                      • What’s Next?

                                                        • Putting mission over money?
                                                          • New forms of financing
                                                          • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                            • CSR is valued by consumers
                                                              • CSR most important to key populations
                                                                • Purchase impact doesn’t always match priorities
                                                                  • Workers’ rights the highest priority concern
                                                                    • CSR lifts brand perception
                                                                      • Use multiple channels when promoting CSR
                                                                      • The Importance of CSR

                                                                        • Helpful, but not a dealbreaker
                                                                            • Figure 10: Importance of CSR, May 2018
                                                                          • City dwellers have high expectations
                                                                            • Figure 11: Importance of CSR, by area of residence, May 2018
                                                                          • Impact on purchases changes with age
                                                                            • Figure 12: CSR as a purchase driver, by age and gender, May 2018
                                                                          • Lower, higher income users less motivated by CSR
                                                                            • Figure 13: Importance of CSR, by household income, May 2018
                                                                        • Areas of Focus for Companies

                                                                          • Supporting workers’ rights can resonate with a broad audience
                                                                            • Figure 14: Areas of focus for companies, May 2018
                                                                          • Workers’ rights most important to old, environment to young
                                                                            • Figure 15: Areas of focus for companies, by generation, May 2018
                                                                          • Equal opportunity efforts win with Black shoppers
                                                                            • Figure 16: Areas of focus for companies – Select items, by race, May 2018
                                                                          • Household income has little impact on how shoppers view CSR
                                                                            • Figure 17: Areas of focus for companies – Select items, by household income, May 2018
                                                                        • Key Product Claims

                                                                          • “Made in the USA” can motivate purchase
                                                                            • Figure 18: Important product claims, May 2018
                                                                          • Younger audience shows more interest in charitable giving
                                                                            • Figure 19: Important product claims – Made in the USA and charity, by age, May 2018
                                                                          • Animal rights particularly important to women
                                                                            • Figure 20: Important product claims – Select items, by gender, May 2018
                                                                          • White audiences more interested in locally made
                                                                            • Figure 21: Important product claims – Select items, by race, May 2018
                                                                          • Rural shoppers want to see the “made in the USA” stamp of approval
                                                                            • Figure 22: Important product claims – Select items, by area of residence, May 2018
                                                                        • Perceptions of CSR Initiatives

                                                                          • Consumers positive on CSR
                                                                            • Figure 23: Perceptions of CSR initiatives, May 2018
                                                                          • Women most open to CSR
                                                                            • Figure 24: Perceptions of CSR initiatives – Select items, by gender, May 2018
                                                                          • Parents can be an important target for CSR
                                                                            • Figure 25: Perceptions of CSR initiatives, by parental status, May 2018
                                                                        • Promoting CSR

                                                                          • No one tactic dominates
                                                                            • Figure 26: Promoting CSR, May 2018
                                                                          • Consumers are educated through a mix of resources
                                                                            • Figure 27: Promoting CSR – Count of sources used, May 2018
                                                                          • Print a winning tactic for older generations
                                                                            • Figure 28: Promoting CSR – Digital and traditional media, May 2018
                                                                        • Attitudes toward CSR

                                                                          • CSR is an expectation among consumers
                                                                            • Figure 29: Expectations of CSR, May 2018
                                                                          • Responsibility initiatives can boost brand image
                                                                            • Figure 30: Support for CSR, May 2018
                                                                          • Half of consumers willing to pay more for CSR
                                                                            • Figure 31: CSR and purchase intent, May 2018
                                                                          • Some consumers remain skeptical
                                                                            • Figure 32: CSR and skepticism, May 2018
                                                                        • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                          • Data sources
                                                                            • Consumer survey data
                                                                              • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                • Abbreviations
                                                                                  • Terms

                                                                                  Attitudes toward Corporate Social Responsibility - US - July 2018

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