New York — 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’ This importance rises to 80% when it is combined with those employees who believe it is somewhat important (37% very/43% somewhat) their employer is responsible. Three in ten (29%) report ‘a high degree of social responsibility’ is very important when forming a purchase decision while about half (45%) view it as fairly important for a total of 74% who say it is important.
The study, conducted among 18,150 adults by global research company Ipsos, asked respondents to consider their views of large companies. The poll found a majority of respondents indicate they ‘strongly agree’ that companies should ‘pay more attention to the environment’ (61%) and ‘do more to contribute to society’ (52%).
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: ‘prioritize workplace safety’ (25% mark it as first priority), ‘contribute to the socioeconomic development of the countries where it operates’ (25%) and ‘respect and adhere to local laws and rights’ (24%).
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 Social Responsibility” (“CSR”) is best analyzed 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 CSR. 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 and sweat” 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.
37% Seek Employers Who Champion CSR
Thinking about the organization 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, one in ten (12%) not very important and 3% not at all important. Just a few (4%) indicate they have no opinion on the matter.
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 in Ten Prioritize CSR When Making Purchases
‘When forming a decision about buying a product or service from a particular company or organization,’ 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, not very important for 17%, not at all important for 4% and evokes no opinion in 5%.
Those in Indonesia (57%), Brazil (56%), Mexico (50%) and India (45%) are most likely to consider CSR important for their purchasing decisions while those in France (11%), Japan (13%), Belgium (15%) and Germany (15%) are least likely.
Majority Agree: Companies Should Do More…
A majority strongly agree that ‘companies should do more to contribute to society‘ (52%) while three in ten (32%) tend to agree, and one in ten (12%) neither agree nor disagree. Only 2% tend to disagree while 1% strongly disagree and another 1% say they don’t know/no opinion. Similarly, a majority of those of those in 24 countries indicate they strongly agree ‘companies should pay more attention to the environment‘ (61%). Three in ten (28%) indicate they tend to agree, one in ten (8%) neither agree nor disagree, and hardly any (1%) say each of: tend to disagree, strongly disagree and don’t know/no opinion.
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%). The top countries strongly agreeing companies should pay more attention to the environment are 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%).
Workplace Safety, Socioeconomic Contributions are Top Issues
Participants were asked to choose the two most important things that a company must do to be respected. One quarter selected ‘prioritize workplace safety’ (25%), ‘contribute to the socioeconomic development of the countries where it operates’ (25%) and ‘respect and adhere to local laws and rights’ (24%) as ‘first’ in terms of priority. Following these top items are: ‘maintain sustainable environmental practices’ (14%), ‘leave behind conditions for sustainable development after operations are closed’ (6%) and ‘fulfill financial and commercial targets to increase shareholder value’ (6%).
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. For more information on credibility intervals, please visit the Ipsos website at http://ipsos-na.com/dl/pdf/research/public-affairs/IpsosPA_CredibilityIntervals.pdf
For more information on this news release, please contact:
Global CEO, Ipsos ASI
+33 1 41 98 90 36
SVP, Ipsos Public Affairs
+1 202 420 2023
For the full report, please visit our website at www.ipsosglobaladvisor.com
Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. In October 2011 Ipsos completed the acquisition of Synovate. The combination forms the world’s third largest market research company.
With offices in 85 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across six research specializations: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs research, and survey management.
Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.
Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,789 billion (2.300 billion USD) in 2012.
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