New Study Finds Only 23% of American Consumers Believe They Have Power to Make Change, Despite a Desire to See Progress
"State of the Conscious Consumer" Study Reveals Too Little Time, Money and Information as the Primary Reasons for Consumers Not Taking Action
BOSTON, June 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, COIN, a values-based investing platform backed by John Hancock, launched the 2019 State of the Conscious Consumer Study, revealing that only 23 percent of Americans actually believe in their individual impact to create positive change, despite a strong desire to see progress.
The survey of more than 1,000 adults set out to measure the attitudes, perceptions and behaviors of American consumers toward positive social and environmental change. Do consumers think they can impact change? Are they using their time, voice or money to take action? Do their daily behaviors indicate a likelihood of aligning their vote, dollars and social posts with doing good?
The study found a majority of US adults agree that addressing the following social and environmental issues is important to the future:
- Public health: 84 percent
- Sustainable development: 79 percent
- Environmental issues or planet health: 78 percent
- Workplace quality: 77 percent
- Equal access to prosperity: 76 percent
- Gender equality: 74 percent
More than half believe that donating money (56 percent) or investing in companies supporting the issues they care about (54 percent) are impactful actions to take to drive progress; yet one in four believe they don't have enough money (25 percent), time (26 percent) or information (26 percent) to take action. And although two-thirds (67 percent) know they are voting with their dollars, they prioritize convenience and cost savings over impacting social change with their money.
"We see great opportunity for educating, especially younger consumers, about the role money can play in making change. Despite popular belief, you don't need much money to make an impact," said Megan Schleck, co-founder and CEO of COIN. "That's why we're excited to offer COIN as a way for people to take control over the impact they want to see in the world with as little as $50. We believe in the compounding power of individual action. We can't assume someone else will create change for us."
Other key findings from the survey show:
Gen Z – Progressive Optimists: Gen Zers (ages 18-24) take the generational lead when it comes to optimism about their individual impact, as they are 155 percent more likely than Boomers to believe their individual actions make an impact. Almost half of Gen Z believes the U.S. has made at least some progress against sustainable development (48 percent), equal access to prosperity (44 percent) and environmental issues or planet health (44 percent). They are the least likely generation to view money as a tool for driving positive change, as 60 percent don't know how to impact social change with their money (tied with Millennials) and 59 percent have never considered how to impact social change using money.
Boomers – Values Guided Realists: Boomers (ages 55+) are the generation most likely to be interested in investing their dollars in companies aligned with their values (42 percent more likely than Gen Z). This counters the presumed trend that younger generations are the ones clamoring for transparency in investing – it seems investing for impact is a cross-generational want.
Parents – Leaders by Example: Parents are more likely than the average population to think their individual efforts are driving real change. They're also 18 percent more likely to take action in support of social issues because they want to be an example for those around them. They lead on believing social sharing and commentary is driving change (20 percent more likely than the general population) and 62 percent say they invest in companies that support the issues they care about.
For more information on how to take action by investing with your values, visit investwithcoin.com.
The 2019 "State of the Conscious Consumer" Study was commissioned by COIN by John Hancock and fielded by independent research firm Equation Research in May 2019. The responses were generated from a survey of 1,003 people ages 18+.
COIN is a conscious investing platform that invests your money in companies making a difference, not the ones that don't. COIN is backed by John Hancock, combining the company's 157 years of expertise with COIN's passion for maximizing positive impact guided by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. COIN is a service provided by John Hancock Personal Financial Services, LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser.
About John Hancock and Manulife
John Hancock is a division of Manulife Financial Corporation, a leading international financial services group that helps people make their decisions easier and lives better. We operate primarily as John Hancock in the United States, and Manulife elsewhere. We provide financial advice, insurance and wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions. Assets under management and administration by Manulife and its subsidiaries were CAD$1.1 trillion (US$849 billion) as of March 31, 2019. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as MFC on the TSX, NYSE, and PSE, and under 945 on the SEHK. Manulife can be found at manulife.com. One of the largest life insurers in the United States, John Hancock supports more than 10 million Americans with a broad range of financial products, including life insurance, annuities, investments, 401(k) plans, and college savings plans. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at johnhancock.com.
Accompanying image: COIN's 2019 State of the Conscious Consumer Survey Infographic
SOURCE John Hancock