Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
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2023 Conscious Consumerism: Top 20 Socially Responsible Companies and Trends


2023 Conscious Consumerism: Top 20 Socially Responsible Companies and Trends
The Conscious Consumer Spending Index (#CCSIndex) has recently reported a significant increase in socially responsible spending. This trend is accompanied by a resurgence in charitable donations and eco-friendly behaviors, which had previously seen a downturn.

The #CCSIndex, an annual study conducted by the social responsibility-focused marketing consultancy Good.Must.Grow., has been tracking these trends since 2013. The Index measures consumer sentiment towards socially responsible companies, their support for such products and services, and their intention to increase spending with these organizations.
The Index’s score has seen considerable changes in recent years. After hitting a record low of 39 in 2020, it rebounded to a record high of 51 in 2021, then slightly dropped to 48 the following year. However, this year, the Index surpassed its previous high, reaching a score of 57. Despite these fluctuations, the past three years have marked significant progress for the socially responsible economy compared to the Index’s early years.

Heath Shackleford, the founder of Good.Must.Grow., expressed optimism about the recent results, suggesting that conscious consumerism might be reaching a critical turning point. He noted that the movement is resonating with consumers more rapidly, despite ongoing global challenges.

One factor contributing to this growth is the increasing familiarity of Americans with terms associated with socially responsible brands. For instance, 26% of respondents recognized the term B Corp, up from 22% in 2022 and a mere 7% in 2013. Similarly, the term ‘benefit corporation’ was recognized by 32% of respondents, up from 25% in 2022 and 17% in 2013. The term ‘social enterprise’ was familiar to 42% of respondents, up from 34% last year and 30% in 2013. Lastly, ‘conscious consumerism’ was recognized by 39% of individuals this year, compared to 34% in 2022 and 33% in 2013.

In 2023, there has been a surge in positive actions for the greater good. According to the Conscious Consumer Spending Index (#CCSIndex), 71% of Americans believe it’s crucial to support socially responsible brands, and 66% have purchased from such brands in the past year. Furthermore, 42% plan to increase their spending with these companies in 2024. These figures not only surpass those of 2022, but they also set new records.

Eco-friendly behaviors and charitable contributions are also seeing a revival. The proportion of Americans identifying as environmentally conscious rose to 86%, up from 81% last year. Similarly, 71% reported reducing consumption this year, compared to 66% in 2022. Support for charities also increased, with more people volunteering, donating goods, and making financial contributions.

However, while socially responsible spending and charitable donations are both on the rise, there’s a concerning trend for nonprofits. The percentage of Americans purchasing from socially responsible companies has increased from 62% in 2013 to 66% this year. In contrast, the number of individuals making financial donations to charities has decreased from 64% in 2013 to 55% in 2023.

More than half of Americans (55%) prefer to give back either by purchasing socially responsible products and services (25%) or through a combination of socially responsible spending and charitable donations (31%). Over 50% of those who prefer to give back through purchases cited convenience as their reason.

Historically, increases in the #CCSIndex score have corresponded with increases in charitable giving. However, it seems that while socially responsible spending is rising, charitable donations are struggling to recover. This aligns with findings from Giving USA, which reported that individual giving as a percentage of disposable income fell to a 30-year low in 2022.

Americans are increasingly using various strategies to determine which products and services are socially responsible. While celebrities and personal research influenced higher Index scores, personal research (40%) was favored over following celebrities (10%). Those who read product packaging or relied on social media, advertising, news media, or friends and family produced lower Index scores.
For the fifth consecutive year, an increasing number of Americans believe the world is deteriorating. In 2023, nearly half (48%) of respondents held this view, up from 45% in 2022, 44% in 2021, 42% in 2020, and 36% in 2019.

This pessimistic outlook appears to have implications for socially responsible behaviors. The 2023 findings reveal that those who believed the world was improving had an index score of 73, while those who thought it was worsening had a score of 48.

The #CCSIndex also conducted its ninth annual top 20 “Good Company” poll this year. Respondents were asked to name the first company or organization that comes to mind when they think of socially responsible entities. The ranking was based on how frequently each organization was mentioned.

Amazon topped the list for the fifth year in a row. Social enterprise Bombas nearly made it into the top 10 in its first appearance, while TOMS reappeared after being absent in 2022. Facebook, Tesla, and Johnson & Johnson, which had strong showings in the previous two years, were not included this year.

Here are the top 20 for this year:
  1. Amazon
  2. Walmart
  3. Goodwill
  4. Salvation Army
  5. Google
  6. American Red Cross
  7. Microsoft
  8. Patagonia
  9. Starbucks
  10. Apple
  11. Bombas
  12. Target
  13. Nike
  14. St Jude T- 15 Ben & Jerry’s T-15. Habitat for Humanity
  15. TOMS 18 Chick-fil-A
  16. UNICEF
  17. Coca Cola