Do citizens think companies are a force for good, or bad? What do citizens of the EU and other major economies think about the efforts companies of different sizes and sectors make to behave in a responsible way? Part of the European Commission’s policy on corporate social responsibility, this survey answers these and other key questions about citizen perceptions of the influence companies have on society. After an analysis at EU level the results are compared to the results from other countries including the US, China, Brazil, India, and Turkey.
More specifically the survey shows that europeans face with distrust the business world, with a significant part of the public to share the view that firms have reduced interest in social and environmental issues compared to a decade ago. The Eurobarometer survey shows that 39% of Europeans believe that companies do not attach importance to their social impact while 40% think the opposite.
In the U.S. and the developing world, the respondents argue that local businesses are getting more serious about their environmental footprint over the last decade (74% in Brazil, 65% in China, 62% in India and 44% in the U.S.).
Of the 32,000 respondents, 79% said they were interested in the responsibility of business activities in environmental and social issues, but only 36% said they had adequate information.
The results of the Eurobarometer survey should act as a “bell” for European businesses which cause more distrust of public opinion as to the socially responsible orientation.Europeans see job creation as the positive impact of businesses (57%) of their contribution to economic development to follow (37%). On the negative side of entrepreneurship, research revealed corruption (41%), layoffs (39%) and environmental pollution (39%). Corruption refers more to developing economies particularly in India (71%) and China (65%).
Brazilians (65%), Canadians (60%) and Indians (57%) are more concerned about the environmental impact of business, while one quarter of Europeans say that encourage overconsumption.