In a recent online survey conducted by Good.Must.Grow., Americans were asked to share their opinions on socially responsible companies and shopping habits. Out of all the participants, only 64% admitted that buying from a socially responsible company was important to them and only 32% are aiming to buy more goods or services from socially responsible companies this year.
One of the reasons for such a low level of intention appears to be a lack of general awareness of which companies are socially responsible or how they actually contribute to a cause with 46% claiming they needed more knowledge in general on the topic and 37% responding that they believed the option to be social responsible with their shopping simply wasn’t available to them.
Interestingly, when asked to name one socially responsible company or organization, many thought of Microsoft which ranked third on the overall results just behind Toms and Whole Foods Markets, which ranked first and second and ahead of The American Red Cross which came in fifth and Greenpeace which lagged behind in seventeenth place.
It’s unclear why Microsoft ranked so high on the list, though a possibility could be the association with its founder Bill Gates’ charitable organization, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is the largest charity in the world. Another reason could be basic word association. Most people would associate The American Red Cross with “charity” instead of the words, “company” or “organization,” however this doesn’t account for Apple which lags behind in fifteenth place, well behind Microsoft.
A contributing factor could be the lasting impact of negative press. Most people still remember the news stories about Apple’s Chinese sweatshops and their employee suicides from a couple of years ago and The American Red Cross’ stance on not accepting blood from homosexual men is quite controversial and seen to be socially irresponsible by many.
Is Microsoft one of the first companies that comes to your mind when thinking about social responsibility? Why do you think it ranked so high in the list? Let us know in the comments below.