Question: Aside from personal gratification from integrating sustainability into a retail business (which I’ve been seeing lots of companies do lately), can it actually improve the bottom line?

Answer: Absolutely! In fact, a new global retail analysis shows increasing sales for brands with sustainability claims and is suggesting that global consumers are interested in purchases that benefit more than just them.


It’s a new world out there and the way that business is done is changing. It’s not enough for companies to produce a product — people expect a little positive change to come with their purchase.

A new study by Nielsen showed that 55 per cent of global consumers across 60 different countries are willing to fork over more cash for companies that are committed to making positive social and environmental impacts, according to a Business Press Release.

Catering to the consumer is now about taking on social and environmental responsibility for companies — this is not the first study to talk about this awesome trend.

Corporate karma is a good thing and sustainability is key

Previous generations approached business very differently — but the markets changing — consumers are evolving.  While business is still very much about the bottom line, social and environmental responsibility has become a necessary element to improve it.

“Companies that practice social responsibility as part of their business model prove that no matter how large or small the contribution is, any act of corporate philanthropy goes a long way, both for the cause and the company,” reports Business News Daily.

In fact, based on the Nielsen study, more than 52 per cent of the respondents claimed to have purchased a product or service from a socially responsible company in the last six months.

Sustainability comes in clever packaging

The study also suggests that consumers around the world are checking labels on packaging because of their interest in a company’s social or environmental commitments.

“Some fifty-two percent of global respondents in Neilsen’s survey say their purchase decisions are partly dependent on the packaging — they check the labeling first before buying to ensure the brand is committed to positive social and environmental impact,” reports For Mill Times, “Sustainable purchase considerations are most influenced by the packaging in Asia-Pacific (63%), Latin America (62%) and Middle East/Africa (62%) and to a lesser extent in Europe (36%) and North America (32%).”

Businesses benefiting positive change is a great trend everyone should get on board with — and the good news is it’s picking up.  This study also suggests that folks in North America need to start getting with it — a sustainable future benefits everyone on the planet.

Macleans recognized the Top 50 socially responsible corporations in 2013 in Canada.


For businesses who are looking for incentives to get energy-efficient, we have them!


Image credit: B K Photos