In 2014, 7,838 CSR reports published worldwide, CSR reporting has increased an average of 10% in popularity year after year. Now going into the year 2020, there are currently over 9,000 companies around the world have signed the UN Global Compact – a promise to uphold social responsibility in human rights, labor standards, and environmental protection with over 66,630 public reports for the corporate climate movement .
What is inspiring this shift towards a more eco-centric attitude?
According to many studies done, Millenials are at the center of it all. A Generation of Opinionated Skeptics, born into the age of manually filtering through overwhelming amounts of sources and misleading content, millennials are inherently curious and suspicious of information they receive on a daily basis.
- Constant exposure to ploys and advertisements has made this generation skeptical towards marketing. Millennials seek meaning, they won’t just buy anything and increasingly look for authenticity.
- Millennials were born into the digital era, making them accustom to mass media. Therefore, less swayed by brands and are more likely to question companies’ authenticity and true motives behind the bright colors and catchy slogans.
- Personal “brand” messaging and curation of their own online persona for social media. Whether it be through sharing political views in status updates, tweets, or YouTube, Tic Toc, Instagram or Facebook, millennials are constantly transmitting their thoughts and opinions into the world. This tech savvy generation want to be heard, and for their voice to make a difference in the world.
- Millennials want companies to involve their customers in their good works. They are looking for opportunities to give back and be empowered to do good
So how can companies keep up with the Millenials?
Millennials’ suspicion towards businesses’ motives coupled with a desire to actively make an impact on the world has given rise to an overwhelming demand for CSR – Corporate Social Responsibility.
- Millennials want to see businesses with transparency and a clear commitment to give back to society. According to a 2015 Cone Communications Millennial CSR Study, millennials are “prepared to make personal sacrifices to make an impact on issues they care about, whether that’s paying more for a product, sharing products rather than buying, or taking a pay cut to work for a responsible company.” This is true across all industry sectors.
“More than 9-in-10 millennials would switch brands to one associated with a cause.”
- Add positive eco impact to their marketing campaigns and communication such as planting trees. To learn how different industries are adding eco to their business, view Case Studies here.
- Add eco-messaging to their products and services
- Show and allow customers to engage with CSR efforts
- Be creative with CSR by making it more than an after-thought
- Lead by example by having formal programs, let employees follow their individual passion for giving back to the communities they live in
With over 80 million in population, and accounting for about one trillion dollars of total consumer spending in the United States alone, businesses need to appease the demands of this up and coming consumer base by making starting with transparency of social media, allowing customers opportunities to learn about their brand story while doing it in a trusted and verified way . If a business does not maintain and add CSR to their social media profiles, they will inevitably face criticism from the millennial group who will indeed notice their lack of response, engagement, and interaction to profit with purpose.
SRC: https://www.unglobalcompact.org/, https://cmr.berkeley.edu/, https://ecosphere.plus/, For the full MILLENNIAL Impact Report: http://www.themillennialimpact.com/sites/default/files/reports/Phase1Report_MIR2017_060217.pdf