Nuremberg, 17.03.2016

Top 3 most important corporate responsibilities, according to consumers


Consumers say companies should focus on providing good jobs, good quality products and being environmental


Nuremberg, March 17, 2016 – The top three most important responsibilities for companies today, in the eyes of consumers, are proving good jobs for people, producing good quality products or services and being environmentally responsible.

These are the findings from a GfK survey that asked over 27,000 internet users across 22 countries to choose the top three most important company responsibilities from a list that ranged from protecting the health and safety of workers to providing a good return for stakeholders.   

Men, in general, select the environment ahead of health and safety

Overall, men and women agree in believing that providing good jobs for people (47 percent of women and 46 percent of men) and producing good quality products and services (41 percent each) come at the top of the list as the most important corporate responsibilities. But there is divergence on what comes next. Slightly more women select ‘protecting the health and safety of workers’ (40 percent) than ‘being environmentally responsible’ (39 percent), while for men it’s the other way around – 36 percent selecting environment compared to 34 percent for health and safety.

There is also a strong gender difference seen further down the list. Significantly more men than women select ‘investing in research and technology’ as one of the three most important responsibilities for companies today – standing at 21 percent and 13 percent respectively.

UK and Belgium put ‘paying a fair share of taxes’ in the top three

The UK and Belgium stand out for high level of consumer belief on the importance of companies paying their fair share of taxes. Over a third of the online population in each country (36 percent and 35 percent respectively) selected this as one of their three choices – making it the second highest focus in Belgium and the third highest in UK.

Sweden, China and Hong Kong have the highest levels of people who see protecting the health and safety of its workers as one of the top three most important responsibility for any company (50 percent, 47 percent and 46 percent respectively).

These findings are essential for all corporations, to ensure they invest their CSR budget on the areas that actually matter most to the consumers in each specific market.


Notes for the editor

The survey question asked, “Here is a list of things people have said are or should be responsibilities of companies in this country. Which 3 of these things do you think are the most important responsibilities of companies today?

  • Providing good jobs for people
  • Investing in research and technology
  • Being environmentally responsible
  • Producing good quality products or services
  • Paying a fair share of taxes
  • Protecting the health and safety of its workers
  • Having programs that address social issues and causes
  • Supporting the local community
  • Advertising honestly
  • Charging reasonable prices for products and services
  • Providing a good return to shareholders
  • Helping to educate people
  • Being involved with charities

About the study

GfK conducted an online survey with over 27,000 consumers aged 15 or older in 22 countries. Fieldwork was completed in June 2015 and data are weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the online population age 15+ in each market. The markets included are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UK and USA.


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