Canadians support companies with cultural values – and climate change is key

Consumers now are not just looking at product quality from their sellers

Canadians support companies with cultural values – and climate change is key

Aside from the quality of products, it appears Canadians are also taking into account an organisation's workplace culture and social justice actions when it comes to their consumption preferences. This is according to the latest LifeWorks report, which revealed that 33% of respondents are also influenced at how a brand or company treats their employees when making a buying or investment decision. 

Another 15% said they are considering how a company responds to social justice issues, while 13% said they are looking at how a brand behaves environmentally.

According to Paula Allen, global leader and senior vice president, research and total wellbeing, the findings establish the connection of organisations' support for employees and the buying preferences of consumers.

"We rightfully are concerned about organisations' impact on the environment, but many organisations underestimate how important their impact on employees is to customers and investors," said Allen in a statement. "The link between an organisations' support for employee wellbeing and organisational productivity, innovation, and customer service is crystal clear, and now so is the link to consumer buying and investing preferences."

Read more: LifeWorks CEO: 'Our people are embracing this change'

The findings seem to reflect the so-called cancel culture that has been growing on social media, where an organisation is called out by, and at times loses support from, the public as an expression of disapproval.

This is the case for a gourmet food supplier in Alberta, which recently saw backlash after its then-president sent a homophobic message to Canmore Pride this year. The Daily Hive reported that the Canmore Pride originally reached out to the supplier as it organised a BBQ set in September.

The company, however, sent this as a response that triggered social media:

"I'm sorry to say but you could not pay me to sponsor anything to do with child grooming tranny's," the response read. "Please keep these sick people away from the children of this community, you should be disgusted with yourselves."

"I'm sure there's some woke organization mentally ill enough to help you with your event," the letter further added.

The response prompted backlash across social media, and even made some of the company's partners sever their business relationship with the organisation.

One of the companies said that they were "disgusted to learn about the hateful email" from one of the owners of the gourmet food supplier, adding that they have "immediately removed" their products from their menu.

Another organisation said they were "shocked and incredibly disappointed to hear about harmful and hateful remarks" from the supplier, saying they have also "discontinued" their relationship with the company immediately.

One user on Twitter also reminded the employees of the company to find other jobs in Canmore, citing the staffing shortages in the city.

"You have options. Better options," read the tweet.

The company has since apologised for the incident, adding that the individual involved has been "removed from the company and its operations."

"We are deeply sorry for the hurt this has caused to the LGBTQ+ community and will be working to ensure our company advances the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion in our business and the community," said the company in a statement.

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