Greed is good
After the Second World War, growth was good. Corporations grew larger and more profitable; generous wages and benefits meant that consumer goods were more plentiful and affordable than ever before. Many felt that they could give their families all the material things that they themselves had done without.
For the greater good
But each generation is judgemental of the previous, and with millennials now making up a significant part of society (one-third of the total U.S. population), their values are shaping how we do business.
Millennials have strikingly different attitudes towards consumption than their baby boomer parents and grandparents. Having grown up in an age of cause-related marketing and corporate social responsibility, their expectations of businesses are more complex and socially driven than those of previous generations. They largely see businesses as having a cultural role and core responsibility to the community around them. They respect companies that take on social issues and expect that businesses do no harm. In fact, among millennials, 86% regard business as having “about the same” or “more potential than governments” to meet society’s challenges (Deloitte) .
The Pew Research Center study found that millennials have far more negative views of their generation compared with Generation Xers, baby boomers or other age groups. More than half of millennials, 59%, describes their generation as ‘self-absorbed’ while 49% says they are ‘wasteful’ and 43% says they are ‘greedy’.
Greater awareness and education combined with the impact of the speed and reach of social media has led to increased societal and government pressure for companies to be responsible in the broadest sense of the term.
Leading companies such as Unilever and Nestlé are not merely interested in legal compliance but go above and beyond to inspire others. They believe that, in order to prosper, they need the communities they serve and in which they operate to prosper as well, and that over the long term, healthy populations, healthy economies and healthy business performance are mutually reinforcing. For example, Unilever’s purpose is to make sustainable living commonplace. Whilst there may be cynicism that this will harm profits, Unilever has found the contrary, with their Sustainable Living brands growing 30% faster than the rest of the business and delivering nearly half their growth in 2015.
The latest articles
More than 20% of Nestlé’s sales last year were pet products
The conglomerate’s pet category is the largest contributor to organic growth, while global sales decreased by 1.5%.
Better Choice to develop weight loss supplement for pets
The Florida-based pet health and wellness firm recently acquired all issued and outstanding shares in Canadian Aimia Pet Healthco for an undisclosed amount.
European pet food manufacturers establish new group
SANYpet, Natural Line and Codico have created a new production and distribution group to capture the international market.
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