Consumers want AI to increase pace of company sustainability plans

By our News Team | 2022

Nearly 90% of people believe it’s not enough for businesses to say they’re prioritising sustainability. They want to see proof of action.

Consumers around the world are demanding more progress on sustainability and social efforts and, in consequence, are looking to businesses to step up the pace.

So says a new study by computer technology company Oracle and Pamela Rucker, CIO Advisor and Instructor for Harvard Professional Development, which is part of the famed Harvard University. 

The “No Planet B” study surveyed more than 11,000 consumers and business leaders across 15 countries and found that people are fed up with the lack of progress society is making towards sustainability and social initiatives. They want businesses to turn talk into action, and believe technology can help organisations succeed where people have failed until now.

Corporate Sustainability

Image by RoadLight from Pixabay

Among the findings:

  • 93 percent of people believe sustainability and social factors are more important than ever, while 80 percent said the events over the past two years have caused them to change their actions.
  • 94 percent believe society has not made enough progress. Forty-two percent attribute the lack of progress to people being too busy with other priorities, 39 percent believe it is the result of more emphasis on short-term profits over long-term benefits, and 37 percent think people are too lazy or selfish to help save the planet.
  • 45 percent of people say businesses can make more meaningful change to sustainability and social factors, than individuals or governments alone.
  • 78 percent are frustrated and fed up with the lack of progress by businesses to-date and 89 percent believe it’s not enough for businesses to say they’re prioritising Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG). They need to see action and proof.
  • 84 percent think businesses would make more progress towards sustainability and social goals with the help of AI, while 61 percent even believe bots will succeed where humans have failed.
  • 70 percent of people would be willing to cancel their relationship with a brand that does not take sustainability and social initiatives seriously, and 69 percent would even leave their current company to work for a brand that places a greater focus on these efforts.
  • If organisations can clearly demonstrate the progress they are making on environmental and social issues, people would be more willing to pay a premium for their products and services (87 percent); invest in them (83 percent); and work for them (83 percent).

“The results show that people are more likely to do business with, and work for, organisations that act responsibly toward our society and the environment,” says Rucker. 

“This is an opportune moment. While thinking has evolved, technology has as well, and it can play a key role in overcoming many of the obstacles that have held progress back.”