WIN International, the world’s leading association in market research and polling has published the Annual Win World Survey (WWS – 2022) exploring the views and beliefs of 29,269 individuals in 36 countries about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). What do people know about it? Is it important when making purchase decisions?

Increase in Awareness

51% of respondents have heard about CSR before, with an increase of 3% compared to last year. Companies and corporations’ responsibility towards society and the environment is becoming an important part of the conversation, leading to higher awareness of CSR among citizens worldwide.

Respondents’ level of education is directly linked to their level of awareness: higher education means higher awareness of CSR.

On a regional level, this varies. Europe is at the top with the highest awareness increase (+6%) compared to the previous year; followed by the Americas +3%. On the other hand the MENA regions are less familiar with the concept, with 59% of people not knowing what CSR stands for.

Companies aren’t doing enough

Respondents are becoming more skeptical. When asked how much companies embrace and promote CSR, 42% believe that companies are not seriously embracing CSR and that the actions in place are only made for appearance (+3% compared to 2021). 25% also believe that most companies do not care about CSR at all, unchanged compared to previous year.

Only 16% believe that brands are seriously following CSR guidelines, the more trusting region is APAC with24% of people believing in companies’ efforts, and countries like Malaysia, Philippines and India also following this line of thought.

Decrease in CSR’s influence in purchase decisions

Surprisingly, less people compared to last year are influenced by companies’ CSR efforts when buying products and services.  Distrust towards brands translates to a wider disinterest in guiding purchase decision based on those efforts. CSR influence on purchase decision dropped from 62% to 50%, but results vary significantly among countries.  India (82%), Mexico (71%) and Turkey (67%) show the highest levels of influence of CSR on purchase decisions. While Kenya (71%), Netherlands (66%) and South Korea (60%) appear to be the most skeptical countries.

When making purchase decisions Africa (51%) and Europe (47%) are the least influenced continents by CSR.

Vilma Scarpino, President of WIN International Association, said:

‘We are learning from every edition of our WIN World Survey that people are increasingly more worried about the environment and that they want to act upon this concern, and call companies, institutions, and governments to help. However, at the same time, a wide distrust towards international actors and their role in taking care of society and the environment is increasing, leading to citizens not even considering companies’ CSR efforts in their everyday purchase decisions. We need to make sure that the widely accepted concerns about society and the environment have a direct effect on everyone’s actions, and rely at the same time on the fact that increasingly more people are familiar with the definition of Corporate Social Responsibility. Those who are getting familiar with the concept now, should also make sure to keep the value in mind when making purchase decisions.’

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