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CSR is finally becoming tangible in FMCG…

In the last few years we have seen a huge shift in focus of employees and consumers.

The requirements of candidates has historically been focused on good culture, salary, progression options & cool brands.

In 2020/2021 the definition and intricacy of those requirements has deepened. The intangibles are no longer intangible and it is amazing seeing it from both candidates and businesses in the sector.

Over 77% of employees in a recent study by Aflac want focus on CSR across all areas, Social, Environmental & Economic. Not only that, but to be visible with actual action publicly taken and reported by companies. Below are some of the requirements;

Plastic usage/wastage reduction

Gender equality


Supply chain transparency

Animal welfare

Planetary welfare

Genuine mental health schemes - NOT TOOLS


Post pandemic internal comms strategies and work support

By comparison, only 37% said it was important to make money for shareholders. Profit and revenue are second fiddle to welfare and life balance choices. It is a fantastic shift to eliminating those obscurities in previous requirements in our sector.

In data ECW have crunched since our launch in February 2021, 84% of candidates vocalised one or several of the above. This is part down to a consumer mindset shift alongside global agendas, pandemic and media reporting.

CSR has long been talked about more generally without conscious realisation. The fact that people feel the right and have the confidence to overcome the taboo of communicating them and actually demanding them is outstanding for society.

A few business highlights in these areas;

The big ones; Amazon and others $1billion deforestation pledges, Danone & Arla’s net zero “Climate Checks” rollout to their farmers on Scope 3, Hasbro mental health charter & plastic reduction missions.

To the smaller wins; St Pierre Groups championing of young people, Minor Figures refill stations saving 15,000 cartons a year, Pet Food UK supporting of homeless animal welfare, Tony’s Chocolonely transparent supply chain & now joined by Brewdog on a collab in the beer market, B-Corp certification from the likes of Ella’s Kitchen & Waterbomb Ltd and many more besides those two, Unilever are trialling a 4-day working week in NZ…. the lists are endless.

Businesses are following up on the corporate messages of net zero, work life balance & mental wellbeing with real action resulting in tangible public wins.

FMCG is an industry that can affect change fast. Having historically taken so much from the planet, employees mental health, alongside clear gender pay discrepancies and hierarchy problems. It Is on the right track. Doing charity work is not enough but the above and many others like them are listening and the corporate agendas are now visible in the smaller yet no less incremental wins.

Circular is no longer good enough. But regenerative is. What is your business doing and what are you doing to contribute?

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