2019 Aflac CSR Study

Fifth year of study says consumers and investors continue to hold corporations' feet to the fire.
2019 Aflac CSR Study

Everyday consumers and investors are faced with choices. More and more, they are selecting purpose-driven products, services and investments. While you'll find a plethora of proof points in the Building the Business Case channel under the Resource Library, here are even more reasons that prove your company's citizenship strategy is providing tangible and intangible returns.

According to the 2019 Aflac Survey on Corporate Social Responsibility, consumers and investors continue to put pressure on American corporations to create positive social change. The survey's top findings include:

  • More than three-quarters of consumers say they would be motivated to purchase a company's products or services if the company shows they are committed to making the world a better place.

  • Forty-nine percent of respondents said that it is very important for a company to "make the world a better place," while only 37% said it is very important for a business to "make money for its shareholders."

  • Millennial investors put significantly more effort into researching a company's role in improving society and the environment before deciding to invest — 41% compared to Gen X (27%) or boomers (16%).

  • Fifty-five percent of American consumers say it's important for companies to take a stand on social and political issues, 53% of consumers also say they have stopped using the products of a company because of its public position on some issue, and 48% of investors report they have decided to not invest in a company because of its position on some issue, with 38% having actually sold shares.

  • A surprisingly large majority of consumers (72%) report they are willing to "forgive" a company's bad behavior, either unethical or illegal. Still, many Americans have grown cynical when it comes to judging corporate social behavior, claiming "zero tolerance" when it comes to infractions of ethical corporate codes. This "one strike club" includes 25% of consumers and 22% of investors.

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