Consumer spending accounts for approximately 70% of U.S. economic activity. The average American spends more than $3 million over their lifetime. A typical large company spends millions of dollars on politicians, their political action committees, and other issue advocacy organizations.
The private sector itself is increasingly focused on the imperative for more responsible corporate conduct, as evidenced by the Business Roundtable Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation, the Davos Manifesto and BlackRock’s letters to CEOs and clients.
More and more, people are actively seeking information about corporate values and issue positions….becoming Progressive Shoppers.
Framework on Corporate Behavior: Environmental, Social, governance, & Political (ESG&P) Responsibility
Here are some helpful statistics to show why we need Progressive Shopper, compiled by Engage for Good:
- 88% of executives know that now more than ever, companies must lead with purpose. (Porter Novelli’s 2020 Executive Purpose Study)
- 89% of executives say companies that lead with purpose have a competitive advantage in today’s marketplace. (Porter Novelli’s 2020 Executive Purpose Study)
- 63% of respondents continue to want CEOs to take a stand on key societal issues, with income inequality, racial equity and climate change the top issues identified. (JUST Capital’s 2021 Americans’ Views on Business Survey)
- 76% of global respondents say that CEOs should take the lead on change rather than waiting for government to impose it. And 73% believe a company can take actions that both increase profits and improve economic and social conditions in the community where it operates. (2019 Edelman Trust Barometer)
- 62% of global consumers want companies to take a stand on issues they are passionate about and 64% find brands that actively communicate their purpose more attractive. (Accenture’s 2018 Global Consumer Pulse Research)
A Brief History of Conscious Consumption
CORPORATE SOCIAL/POLITICAL BEHAVIOR
Few examples of companies taking stances on social and political issues:
- Chick-fil-A has donated over $5 million, via the WinShape Foundation, to groups that oppose same-sex marriage.
- Delta Airlines eliminated promotional benefits for National Rifle Association (NRA) members.
- PayPal canceled plans to open a new operations center when North Carolina passed a law restricting the use of public restrooms based on biological sex
- The National Football League instituted a policy prohibiting players from kneeling during the national anthem as protests of racial inequality.
- 200+ companies called on the US Senate to pass gun legislation.
- 500+ companies called on Congress to pass the Equality Act.
A key part of the solution is for companies to adopt the CPA-Zicklin Model Code of Conduct for Corporate Political Spending.