Interest in Socially Responsible Practices and Investing Soars to New High
New Allianz Life study reveals Americans expect all companies, particularly financial services and insurance firms, to adhere to new standards
- 97% indicate social responsibility is important when making investment decisions
- 53% of those not currently investing in socially responsible companies are interested in starting
- 68% said knowing more about the social responsibility efforts of financial services companies would influence their decision to do business with them, and 63% expressed the same about insurance companies
In addition to highlighting strong interest in social responsibility from investors, the study confirmed that Americans have particularly high expectations of financial services and insurance companies. Sixty-eight percent said knowing more about the social responsibility efforts of financial services companies would influence their decision to do business with them, and 63% expressed the same about insurance companies. Both of these responses surpassed interest in the specific environmental practices of these companies such as green practices and investing.
“While it is not completely surprising that socially responsible investing has risen to the forefront, the level of interest is surprising,” said
When it comes to taking action, Americans have very clear intent as well. Seventy-five percent of respondents support investing in companies that have taken positive actions when it comes to social responsibility.
A closer look at financial services and insurance companies
While many look to the retail and consumer-facing organizations that they do regular, ongoing business with, financial services and insurance companies also play an important role when it comes to social responsibility. The study found that:
- 71% indicated a financial services company can have a significant impact on social responsibility and 64% felt the same way about insurance companies
- 71% also indicated that financial services companies that embrace social responsibility are better positioned for long-term success with 67% expressing the same view for insurance companies
Following these preferences, 79% of consumers said they are more likely to choose an insurance policy based on the company’s commitments to social responsibility.
Millennial interest runs higher than expected
While millennial interest in sustainability practices, particularly social responsibility, is well documented, the study found that the next generation of American investors places even more magnitude on social responsibility than previously thought.
- 99% of millennials say social responsibility practices are important when making investment decisions
- 80% of millennials support investing in companies with good social responsibility practices
- 80% of millennials believe insurance companies with good social responsibility practices are better positioned for long-term success
“Companies have an obligation to drive social responsibility and they are in the best position to bring about large-scale change for the better,” added Hedtke. “Americans rightfully expect the companies they invest in to lead the charge and take tangible steps toward making our society a better place for all.”
*Allianz Life conducted an online survey in