Ipsos Global @dvisor: Corporate Responsibility

Four in ten (37%) employees in 24 countries indicate it is `very important' for their own employers to be `responsible to society and the environment'.

Responsibility remains firmly on the global agenda despite economic doom and gloom

The study, conducted among over 18,000 adults by global research company Ipsos, asked respondents to consider their views of large companies. The poll found a vast majority of respondents indicate they ‘agree’ that companies should ‘pay more attention to the environment’ (89%) and ‘do more to contribute to society’ (84%).

A majority of those of those in 24 countries indicate they strongly agree ‘companies should pay more attention to the environment‘ (61%). The top countries strongly agreeing companies should contribute more to society are Turkey (85%), Brazil (78%), Saudi Arabia (78%) and Mexico (76%), while the bottom four are Japan (22%), United States (33%), Great Britain (34%) and Australia (34%). Globally, 61% agree strongly that companies should pay more attention to the environment, with the top countries strongly agreeing being Mexico (90%), Turkey (89%), Brazil (88%) and Argentina (84%) while those at the bottom of the list are again Japan (28%), Great Britain (36%), United States (40%) and Australia (41%). 

Citizens of the world unite

In the analysis we treat people as “citizen-consumers”. On one hand, people can act on issues because they are influenced as citizens (whether they support or oppose something for example) and on the other hand because they use their role as a consumer to make a statement based on how they are influenced by the brand or the product (they can be more likely to purchase or to boycott or make another choice with their money, for example). The construct of “Corporate  Responsibility” is best analysed at both of these levels. In the case of this study, respondents are measured and reported on the top box intensity of their responses (“very”) in order to look at the specific groups most likely to be influenced or act on matters of Corporate  Responsibility. As such the study shows that while roughly one third of the population is likely to be heavily influenced as consumers that proportion roughly doubles to two thirds when they are considered as citizens. In this regard, one group is very determined as purchasers and employees to “put their money where their mouth is” into their choices whereas an additional third are motivated as citizens and taxpayers who, by vote or voice, give regulators and elected officials their proxy by opinion to either reward or punish commercial and institutional entities when issues and events arise. 

Socioeconomic contribution and workplace safety are top issues 

When it comes to gaining respect, getting the basics right and contributing to the economy are fundamental. When asked to consider what the top two most important things a company must do to be respected, the top items among survey respondents were: ‘contributing to the socioeconomic development of the countries where it operates’ (25%) ‘prioritising workplace safety’ (25% mark it as first priority) and ‘respecting and adhering to local laws and rights’ (24%).

Four in five say it is important their employer champions Corporate Responsibility

Thinking about the organisation they currently work for, four in ten (37%) of employed respondents in the survey report they find it very important that their ‘own employer is responsible to society and the environment’. Another four in ten (43%) find it fairly important totalling some 80% saying this is important to them. Only 3% say it is not at all important.

On a country by country basis, Brazil (65%), Mexico (59%), Argentina (57%), Indonesia (55%) and India (51%) top the charts for proportions of employed respondents indicating it is very important their employer is responsible to society and the environment while Japan (11%), France (17%), China (19%) and South Korea (22%) have the lowest proportions of advocacy among employees.

Three quarters consider Corporate Responsibility when making purchases

‘When forming a decision about buying a product or service from a particular company or organisation,’ it is very important for three in ten (29%) respondents that it shows ‘a high degree of social responsibility‘. This factor is fairly important for about half (45%) of global respondents so it is a consideration for nearly three quarters. Those in Indonesia (57%), Brazil (56%), Mexico (50%) and India (45%) are most likely to consider Corporate Responsibility important for their purchasing decisions while those in France (11%), Japan (13%), Belgium (15%) and Germany (15%) are least likely.

Technical Note

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Global @dvisor poll conducted between April 2nd and April 16th , 2013. The survey instrument is conducted monthly in 24 countries via the Ipsos Online Panel system. The countries reporting herein are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United States of America. An international sample of 17,172 adults (of those, 12,266 are employees) aged 18-64 in the US and Canada, and age 16-64 in all other countries, were interviewed. Approximately 1000+ individuals participated on a country by country basis with the exception of Argentina, Indonesia, Mexico, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Russia and Turkey, where each have a sample 500+. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to the most recent country Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls are calculated using a credibility interval. In this case, a poll of 1,000 is accurate to +/- 3.5 percentage points and one of 500 is accurate to +/- 5.0 percentage points in their respective general populations. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

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