The Hoggan Sustainability Research® report identifies Canadians' shared values and their perceptions of sustainability. Today, the topic of sustainability is top of mind, with 79% of Canadians rating sustainability as a top or high priority. The same percentage believe we need stricter laws to protect the environment; 88% say companies that pollute should be punished severely. There is a high percentage (71%) who believe companies that are socially responsible are more likely to be profitable over the long term.

As a company, we have to not only be environmentally responsible but also credible. We need to show our customers we care about the environment and are actively making changes to limit our impact.

The following are steps Canadians are willing to take to help the environment:

  • 83% will take their own bags to the grocery store
  • 62% will take their own travel cup when purchasing take-out coffee
  • 67% will purchase organic or local food
  • 58% will seek out products or services from companies that show leadership on sustainability issues

Almost 50% of Canadians consider themselves to be environmentalists, so there is a desire for Canadians to start taking steps that benefit the environment. Even if it means changing some of their own actions. Canadians are concerned about the impact of consumerism on the environment and are willing to take steps to help decrease their impact. If we can start to show leadership in the QSR category, Canadians will feel better about their decision to eat at our restaurants, knowing we are taking steps to become environmentally responsible.

It’s no longer enough for companies to simply ‘talk’ about being environmentally friendly—they have to demonstrate it. Canadians believe 83% of most companies’ sustainability claims are more for public relations purposes than actual results. The decisions we make have to be viewed by customers as being beneficial, otherwise they will see our company as simply ‘talking the talk,’ not ‘walking the walk.’

Canadians believe the world needs to move in a ‘greener’ direction but see several barriers facing them. They lack faith in the government to make decisions, they personally don’t know how to make a difference, and if they do make small differences they feel it won’t really matter. Canadians are looking to companies to start the process and they are willing to follow suit. This is where we come in. By making small changes as a company, we can help to move A&W into a ‘greener’ light.

For complete details on The Hoggan Sustainability Research study, please click here.

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