Australian research technology company, Glow, has launched what it says is a world first initiative to help companies benchmark their ESG performance.
Social Responsibility Score (SRS) gives companies an objective way to measure and track what consumers think about how they are addressing their impact on the environment and sustainability as Australia fast tracks its acceleration towards Net Zero.
Social and environmental responsibility is a key decision driver for two thirds of consumers. Sixty-four percent of Australian consumers state that social and environmental responsibility is important to them when choosing a brand. It’s more important for millennials than other cohorts. On average Australian consumers are willing to pay a 3.5 percent price premium for more socially responsible brands. More than one in five consumers also report switching brands in the last 12 months based on ESG performance.
Australia’s food and grocery industry ‘leads the pack’ when it comes to social responsibility, with the industry’s score 78% better than the average score for all industries. Consumers believe the biggest issues the industry can address include plastic and packaging waste, cost of living, ethical sourcing, setting appropriate corporate policies and encouraging employee support.
At the other end of the spectrum, the SRS findings show that social media companies, oil, gas and mining and gaming and betting companies are severely lagging behind and have much more work to do.
Glow has measured 200 well-known brands across 15 categories with approximately 400 brands to be under measurement by the end of this financial year.
The SRS is an independent benchmark and repeatable measure of how well consumers think a brand is performing, why that is, and how to improve perception. SRS captures brand performance relative to the industry and competitors in a single score across a syndicated data set and analysis of 13 underlying drivers. This enables brands to diagnose risk and identify opportunities and act to improve perception.
“The Social Responsibility Score measures consumer perspectives on a brand’s ESG/CSR performance. All Australian boards, company directors and the C-Suite have a laser focus on meeting governance standards and non-listed companies are actively pursuing sustainability ahead of profit. Most critically, consumers are choosing brands that are acting responsibly over those that aren’t,” said Tim Clover, CEO and founder, Glow.
“The measure has been under development for over 12 months and has been validated against key brand performance metrics including trust, propensity to pay a premium and revenue growth, based on over $1 trillion of sales data. What consumers think of companies and brands’ Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) footprint has never been more important,” stresses Tim.
Sustainability has been a major focus for Cadbury and parent company Mondelez, with a number of major programs in place to reduce plastic and packaging waste and address challenges in supply chains. Mondelez granted Glow permission to publish their Social Responsibility Score case study for Australia. The food and grocery industry overall has the highest Social Responsibility Score of all measured commercial industries while Cadbury scores ahead of that industry average.
“Cadbury’s score is 22% ahead of the food and grocery average industry score and is the top score within their category for the brands measured. Cadbury also commands the strongest advantage when it comes to willingness for respondents to pay a premium for the brand.” explains Tim.
“Since the Cadbury family founded their iconic business back in 1824, we’ve always had a strong purpose. This remains the case today where the challenges faced by our planet are clear for us to see. Our consumers have never been better informed or enjoyed so much choice on supermarket shelves. Cadbury fans rightly expect us to be making a positive contribution to address the challenges they see in their communities,” Paul Chatfield, Vice President Marketing ANZ at Mondelez, says.