- Greater access to information and availability of choice are leading consumers to value, comment, and make buying decisions based on a company's business ethics, according to a recent HSBC Holdings report.
- Roughly 77% of consumers in emerging economies and 58% of consumers in advanced economies claimed ethical brands were a factor in their buying decisions.
- Meanwhile, consumers' access to technology is making business connectivity both an asset and liability as B2C relationships grow in importance, according to the report. After all, the likelihood that a consumer will comment on a company's business ethics online, and affect peer opinions, is rising as well.
Supply chains are inherently B2B, but as consumer demands for transparency and end-to-end sustainability grow, all links in the chain are being forced to adapt to consumer trends.
The materials used in packaging, the information in a products label, a company or logistics provider's carbon footprint and a supplier's fair-labor policies are all fair game in a rapidly moving, consumer-focused world. The report shows, above all, that companies willing to comply with growing consumer standards also reduce their risks on brand-damage and loss of potential sales.
Of course, such figures are hard to quantify in models. Fortunately, industry trends and regulations are increasingly pushing companies to adopt sustainability and ethics standards. The U.K.'s Modern Slavery Act is a prime example of this, as are the various companies, ports and political actors leading the charge for sustainability.