As our culture works to understand more about social fairness and responsibility — and key topics relating to racial equality and justice, ethics, and employee welfare — we thought it worthwhile to provide a group of Hartman Group podcasts and related work that speak to these issues. Along with our podcasts, our research on sustainability and its interconnected levers of social, environmental, and economic issues is a potentially instructive lens through which to view current events: whereas in years past we've seen sustainability viewed largely by consumers as a construct associated with the environment and a desire for corporate transparency, we know that just prior to our current era of self-examination consumers were growing increasingly aware of the social impacts of business practices and were already voicing increasing interest in topics like employee welfare.

As an example, our Sustainability 2019 Beyond Business as Usual report found that consumers desire that companies balance quality and value with behaving responsibly toward workers, communities, and the environment. Sustainability 2019 found that strong social connections related to employee welfare are powerful purchase drivers, with 65% of consumers saying it is important that a company provide good wages and benefits to its employees. Most consumers desire transparency around corporate sustainability efforts and will look at companies as a source for that information. There is a widely felt misalignment between how consumers conceive of corporate responsibility and a perceived status quo focus on the bottom line. From the viewpoint of consumers, customers, the environment, future generations, communities, and employees should come first for a company to be truly responsible.

Hartman Group Podcasts that explore our changing social consciousness:

The Importance of Employee Welfare in the Food Industry: Listen to our analysts discuss how social responsibility has been playing out in the restaurant industry and implications for the broader food industry.

Food as Medicine: How Can the Food Industry Support Communities in Need? The pandemic has had a profound impact on not only individuals but entire communities — some more disproportionately than others. The top priority for consumers during these tense times of the coronavirus pandemic is to keep themselves and their families healthy. On this podcast, our analysts discuss the idea of how the "me affects the we" and how the pandemic has shed a spotlight on how we are all connected.

The Impact of National Restaurant Chains on Shaping the Future of Dining Out: Restaurants are community hubs providing space for people to bond over food. On this podcast, our analysts discuss how consumers are concerned for their safety when eating out as well as issues of ethics, social fairness, and responsibility when it comes to supporting small restaurants. 

COVID-19: Staying Engaged — Supporting the Greater Good: Is there a silver lining to this time of pandemic crisis? On this podcast, we examine how, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, companies and consumers continue to stay engaged within their communities to support the greater good.

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