Current research released by Nielsen has revealed that consumers are attracted to those companies that have demonstrated a certain level of social responsibility in their business practices. In fact, the Nielsen online study found that consumers are attracted to responsible community initiatives and are even willing to pay additional money to support those companies involved in these practices.

According to the Nielsen survey, 55 percent of respondents across 60 countries said that they would pay more for products and services from companies committed to positive social and environmental practices and that they would not buy from companies who did not pursue these types of activities. The age group most likely to pay more to socially conscious companies was the millennials. On a global scale, the trend toward buying socially responsible brands was strongest in the Asia-Pacific at 64 percent, followed by Latin America at 63 percent, the Middle East and Africa at 63 percent, North America at 42 percent, and Europe at 40 percent respectively.

On a global scale more than half (52 percent) say that they have purchased at least one product or service in the past six months from a socially responsible company. Narrowing this down to those surveyed in North America and Europe, four out of ten say they have made such a sustainable purchase in the past six months. In addition, around 52 percent say that their purchase decisions are partly dependent on packaging, with the labeling checked first before buying to ensure the brand is committed to positive social and environmental change.

Nielsen also reviewed retail sales data from a cross-section of twenty consumable and non-consumable brands in nine countries. Each brand either included sustainability claims on packaging or actively promoted these efforts through marketing initiatives. The results from the year-over-year analysis demonstrated an average annual sales increase of 2 percent for those products with sustainability claims on the packaging and 5 percent for those actively marketing these efforts. A similar review of 14 other brands without social responsibility claims showed only a rise of 1 percent.


Nielsen. “Global Consumers Are Willing to Put Their Money Where their Heart Is When It Comes to Goods and Services from Companies Committed to Social Responsibility.” 6/17/14.

Wong, Venessa. “Consumers Believe They’re Eager to Pay More for Do-Gooder Products.” Bloomberg Businessweek. 6/20/14.