Organizations Are Expected to Prioritize Both People and the Planet in 2023

Social purpose ranks ahead of environment in ESG importance

NEW YORK - January 3, 2023 - (

Three in ten Americans say climate change is the most important issue for organizations to get behind in 2023, according to a recent survey by Reputation Leaders. However, organizations helping vulnerable people by addressing poverty, human rights, abuse of power, and homelessness are together as important to consumers as protecting the planet in 2023.

A survey of 500 US adults nationally in November 2022 found that American respondents' top priorities for organizations to support in 2023 are climate change (30%), poverty and hunger (27%), human rights (24%), corruption and abuse of power (23%) and homelessness (21%). Expectations for social action are rising as citizens express concern not only for their own cost of living struggles but for human conflicts, disasters, and misfortune. ESG investing has become trendy, but Americans believe social conduct (41%) ranks ahead of the environment (35%) and governance (24%) when it comes to companies' ESG priorities.

Consumers expect that brand purpose commitments, once made, must be upheld

With frustration around do vs. say, most (56%) Americans say that brands talk more about Purpose than act. Rather than promising to save the world by 2030, 60% believe that an organization should focus on a few environmental or social areas where they can make real change. Despite economic headwinds going into 2023, 61% of Americans also say an organization should stay true to its Purpose no matter the cost or what is happening in the economy. Looking at themselves, US consumers (42%) predict people will de-prioritize 'shopping with a conscience' as the cost of living rises. Still, a significant 23% disagree, suggesting they expect shoppers will hold to their values, even as their spend is squeezed.

Consumers connect with brands with a purpose but can be skeptical of motives

Half (53%) of consumers agree that buying from a brand is one way of 'making a change in the world.' They are more likely to trust (48% agree) and feel connected to (48% agree) a brand with Purpose. However, a quarter (26%) believe that companies are claiming a Purpose agenda 'to be trendy', and one in six sees it as a way to 'attract money from investors' or for 'greenwashing'. 


Reputation Leaders ran a US national online study from Nov. 7-9, 2022, to explore American priorities for 2023 and their expectations for organizations to act on their ESG and purpose commitments. Interviews were conducted among 500 US adults aged 18 and over, matching the US demographic profile by age, gender, and region. 

Full results are downloadable from

For more information on Purpose, CSR and Reputation, contact [email protected] 

Contact Information:
Laurence Evans
[email protected]

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Original Source: Organizations Are Expected to Prioritize Both People and the Planet in 2023
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