Eco-business / Social Venture

December 4, 2016


Survey Shows 1 in 3 People Value Socially Conscious Products that Exceed Legal Compliance

Keywords: Eco-business / Social Venture 

Image by condesign.

A questionnaire survey conducted in March 2016 shows that more than one in three people recognize the value of goods that are environmentally friendly, people-conscious and/or socially responsible beyond just legal compliance. This survey, pertaining to social awareness and behavior, was conducted by a Japanese online shopping mall, SoooooS, operated by YARAKASUKAN Co. Here, we present the results of the survey.

In response to a question about whether the respondent recognizes a difference between the value of products complying with laws and regulations about giving consideration to the environment, people, and society, and the value of those which give greater consideration to these matters than is legally required, 35.2 percent of respondents answered "yes," which was more than double the percentage of those who answered "no" (16.4%).

Regarding product-related social initiatives (fair trade, use of organic materials, charitable contributions, recycling, etc.), 65.2% of respondents answered that these initiatives and information about them encourage them to purchase or consider purchasing the products, and improve the products' image.

In response to a question about whether respondents actually purchase socially responsible products, 26.8% of respondents said they purchase environmentally friendly products, 19.6% buy regional or traditional products, 18.6% purchase organic products, 13.4% buy charitable products, and 10.0% purchase fair trade products. However, among the respondents who actually purchase such products, 80% answered that the proportion of socially responsible products they buy in their daily shopping makes up less than 10% of their total purchases.

Meanwhile, about 30% of respondents said they hope to purchase socially responsible products in the future, although the answers varied somewhat depending on the products.

Regarding the most important factors to consider when purchasing socially conscious products, 47.5% of respondents who purchase such products answered "function and quality," followed by "price" (29.8%). Meanwhile, the percentage of respondents who said "social initiatives and consideration thereof" is the most important was 17.7%. These results indicate that improving the intrinsic value of the products is essential after all.

As for questions regarding the products to be sold at event facilities and provided in athletes' accommodations during the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020, as many as 54.4% of respondents are in favor of products that take the environment, people and society into consideration. Hosting the event will attract worldwide attention and is expected to help increase the sale of socially responsible products.

This survey was conducted over the Internet on March 2 and 3, 2016, and collected responses from 500 people in Japan, both male and female, in their 20s through 60s.