ESGs and Customer Choice: Some Empirical Evidence

Circ Econ Sustain. 2023 Jan 17;1-34. doi: 10.1007/s43615-023-00251-8. Online ahead of print.


The goal of this paper is to determine whether a company's performance on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) indicators influences customer choice, and if so, which ones are the most important, as well as whether the COVID-19 pandemic had an effect on changing this hierarchy. Additionally, it intends to investigate the influence of regional and demographic factors on its formation. To achieve this goal, primary data were gathered in Greece via a questionnaire survey. According to the findings, a company's performance on ESGs influences consumer choice, with an emphasis on environmental and social indicators. It was also demonstrated that a company's social indicator performance is relevant to both urban and suburban customers. Customers in urban areas place a higher value on a company's performance in governance indicators than those in suburban areas, who place a higher value on a company's performance in environmental indicators. Finally, no significant COVID-19 effect was evidenced on the findings, although the emphasis on "social indicators" was further reinforced, probably due to the increase in social awareness of citizens during the pandemic.

Keywords: Customer choice; ESG indicators; Sustainable development.