A new report from research company Nielsen suggests consumers in India are more than twice as likely to spend on ethical goods and services than their counterparts in Australia.
While there has been an increase for most of the 58 countries covered in the survey some surprising countries have shown a stronger propensity for buying ethical and sustainable goods and services.
The number of Australian consumers willing to spend more on goods and services from ethical companies is growing although we rank a lowly 45th in the table, that’s well below the United States but four places better than the United Kingdom.
However, it’s Indian shoppers who lead the way, according to the report examining the willingness of people to pay for greener goods.
In Nielsen’s latest Global Survey on Corporate Social Responsibility of 29,000 Internet respondents in 58 countries, the density of respondents willing to spend more on products and services from companies that give back varies considerably across the countries Nielsen examined.
Nielsen says that broadly speaking, European respondents were less likely to pay more for goods and services from companies that give back, just 36 per cent of consumers in the region said they would do so.
Meanwhile in the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia, more than two-thirds of respondents said they would pay extra, and in India, three-quarters of respondents agreed that they would do so.
Querying its own results Nielsen wondered why the results were so high in India.
It suggested It might be because consumers in India already have high corporate social responsibly (CSR) expectations.
“In fact, expectations in India are so great that a bill working its way through parliament contains a clause mandating CSR investments from certain companies,” the report said.
“In countries where scepticism toward corporate social responsibility runs high, cause-marketers face an uphill battle,” said Nic Covey, vice president of corporate social responsibility at Nielsen.
“In these markets especially, social impact programs must be incontestably authentic to a company’s business objectives, vision and values.”
However, the study found a growing inclination among consumers across the globe, including in Australia, to spend more money on goods and services from socially responsible companies.
Nielsen asked 29,000 people in 58 countries via the internet if they would spend more on products and services from companies that give back to society.
However, there were stark regional differences in the results.
Australia ranked 45 out of 58, with 37 per cent of people saying they would spend more on greener goods, up from 31 per cent in 2011.
Indian consumers, however, scored the highest, with 75 per cent willing to spend more, up from 56 per cent in the previous study.