Living sustainably can be tricky. Those on a quest to do so often have to consider complicated questions, and answers may be tough to find: Is "all-natural" really good for me? Am I investing in companies that have worthy social goals? Was this T-shirt made in a factory that requires safe working conditions?
According to new Cone research, eighty-six percent of consumers wish companies would tell them more about the results of corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts, yet less than 40 percent know where to find this information. Eco-minded consumers are often forced to trust on-package CSR claims, or face sifting through large amounts of online data to inform their decisions. Not anymore.
The tide toward transparency is accelerating, and one start-up is riding the wave. Oroeco is a still-in-development mobile app that will help socially- and environmentally-conscious users make responsible purchasing, investment and work choices, "balancing personal values with everyday life." According to Fast Company CoExist, the app will allow users to connect directly to their Mint.com profiles, enabling Oroeco to make linkages between financial actions and societal and environmental impacts. Oroeco also syncs with social networks, letting users compete and compare against friends, families and celebrities while earning points for positive actions. The app showcases return through values-driven purchasing behavior, translating social actions into bottom-line benefits.
Tools like Oroeco demonstrate stakeholder willingness and ability to educate themselves not only about the impacts of the products and services they use, but also about how their personal behaviors can make a difference. Oroeco may represent a growing population of consumers who primarily filter their buying decisions through a social and environmental lens. Savvy marketers will take advantage of this opportunity to openly and regularly communicate CSR efforts and progress, and ensure impacts are meaningful for consumers. After all, compelling CSR information may only be an app away.