It’s no secret that Millennials and Gen Z are different from their previous generational counterparts. As the ability to connect and get to know a company better has improved in recent years, their desire to see programs, services and investments that make a difference in the environment and in the world is becoming an increasingly large part of the CX conversation.
Of course, when we talk about CX we generally refer to actions that directly affect the customer and improve loyalty, but recently this conversation has started to include how companies are increasing awareness of problems and taking responsibility for their footprint in the world – and è Make a difference.
A recent Aflac report said so 77 percent of consumers they are more willing to buy from a company with a CSR commitment – 73 percent of investors agree. Even business executives know this. According to a study, 9 out of 10 business leaders He said consumers would hold them accountable for the environmental impact they have on their business – an even greater relationship than shareholders, employees or government regulators.
Apple, Dell, Amazon, Google and other major tech companies have made commitments over the past year to reduce their carbon footprint and improve other sustainability initiatives. Other consumer products companies have made similar commitments. Although on a smaller scale, research shows that these goals make a difference in brand and brand loyalty.
In recent years, several large companies have recently announced climate commitments, environmental goals, social responsibility initiatives and other CSR plans with the hope of attracting customers and creating a positive reputation around their brand. Here are just a few that caught my eye.
Amazon: Last month, Amazon has launched $ 2 billion Climate Pledge Fund aimed to invest in companies that build products, services and technology to “decarbonise” the land. This fund will help Amazon and other companies to meet The commitment on the climate – an initiative to be zero carbon net by 2040 – ten years before the Paris agreement adopted by other countries. Other companies that are part of the commitment include Verizon and Infosys.
Apple: Just this week Apple is committed to being 100% carbon neutral across the entire business, including the supply chain and product life cycle by 2030. Other promises include building a recycling robot to better dismantle Apple technology to recover rare earth materials that can be reused in other devices. Dave, the new robot, will join Daisy for the other line of disassembling robots that Apple already uses. Apple is a favorite of the cult and with these initiatives it is likely to remain so.
Clorox: If you are like me, you have Clorox wipes all over the house so as not to clean every surface. Usually you wouldn’t think of Clorox as an environmentally friendly company, but they are committed to creating 90 percent of the recyclable product packaging. This simple act could have an extremely positive impact in keeping plastic packaging out of landfills around the world.
Dell Technologies: Similar to Apple’s initiatives, Dell has announced its goal of reducing carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2030. They have also pledged to increase recycling programs and to use more renewable energy in all their corporate properties. These small changes will have a big impact on our environment and will likely improve the way consumers view Dell.
Patagonia: Another easy way to return? Donate a certain percentage of your profits to environmental problems. This is what Patagonia it does with its 1 percent for the initiative of the planet. But Patagonia has been involved with the community and environmentalism in even more meaningful ways: connecting people online to significant local events, supporting grassroots demonstrators, petitioning for various environmental initiatives and carrying out over 70% of its line of clothing from recycled materials. I am a company that shows that you can become creative in your search for corporate sustainability and, despite the fact that many of their products have a higher price than similar products, their customers tend to be incredibly loyal.
Salesforce: Unlike the previous examples, Salesforce has made the environment a priority for several years. Consider the environment a key stakeholder in their business. The company has already achieved zero net greenhouse gas emissions globally and offers a zero emission cloud. Each year they publish a report on the impact of stakeholders in order to be anticipated on their sustainability results. Salesforce is a clear leader in this field and one to emulate.
Target: With hundreds of stores across the country, Target has made some small changes that, in addition to the carbon reduction effort, have really made a difference. In 2018, stores and supply chain locations reduced the amount of waste sent to landfills 75 percent through recycling programs. The goal is also to put solar panels on the roofs of 500 stores in 2020 to improve their energy efficiency.
In addition to the above, I have seen a wave of tech companies leaving sustainability behind as a key differentiator including Microsoft, Cisco, IBM, Intel and HPE. We are also seeing significant efforts from other major retailers and consumer goods companies such as Walmart and P&G. At this point, in all sectors, this trend is increasing and is heading towards sustainability as a key focal point for all major brands.
The reality: consumer care
All these initiatives sound great. And as I said, these examples are just some of the many that I have seen in the space of sustainability. Many of these companies and others have made commitments to address social issues that are hot button topics in our world today. Even the mere announcement of Walmart this week that they will close their stores on Thanksgiving – after years of chaos on Black Friday – has scored points both in the media and in the eyes of the consumer.
And that’s the point. When the market is saturated with products, companies that choose to make a difference will stand out for their stakeholders. Knowing that Amazon, arguably the largest company in the world, is making such a bold commitment and encouraging other companies to follow suit, puts them in a positive light in my mind. Knowing that my old computers are actually being repurposed makes a difference to me.
If your company truly appreciates caring for the environment, this will shine through at all levels of your company, from the way you make your products to the way you compensate your employees. Customers are not loyal to brands. They are loyal to the brands that really catch them – who care about the things they care about – which stand before the trends they care about most.