Home Business News Brits want business leaders to speak out about social and political issues

Brits want business leaders to speak out about social and political issues

by LLB political Reporter
11th Oct 20 2:14 pm

The British public are increasingly calling for business leaders to be vocal about social and political issues as trust in politicians remains low, according to new research from Ipsos MORI published today to mark the launch of The Good Business Festival.

Two-thirds (68%) of people think business leaders have a responsibility to speak out on social and political issues affecting the UK, rising from 62% in 2019, as Britons put their trust in business leaders above trust in government – one in five (19%) regard business leaders as trustworthy, vs only 1 in 10 (13%) considering politicians to be trustworthy.

This pattern reflects that observed in longer-term trend series such as the Ipsos MORI Veracity Index, which shows that while trust in business leaders to tell the truth has steadily risen since 2000, from 28% to 35% in 2019, trust in politicians has sunk from 20% to 14%.

The findings come as concerns about climate change and coronavirus in particular are high. Ipsos MORI recorded a further escalation in concern about climate change in September – with 83% of the British public believing that we are heading for environmental disaster unless we change our habits quickly, rising despite the Covid-19 pandemic from 78% recorded by Ipsos Global Trends in 2019. At the same time, the Ipsos MORI Issues Index shows that public worry about Covid-19 is undimmed from earlier in the year, with 77% mentioning as a big issue for Britain in September.

For many, 2020 has exacerbated concerns around the economy, Brexit and the environment, which along with the arrival of coronavirus, have increased the focus on the role of business and government to do the right thing for society, and align with their personal values: 72% of Britons are looking to buy brands that reflect their personal values, up from 56% in 2019.

Ben Page, Chief Executive, Ipsos MORI said, “Covid-19 has seen public expectations – and trust – in business rise.  People want to see brands that align themselves with their values and Chief Executives who stand up and be counted.  It is clear that most people in Britain think business can make money and do good at the same time”

Wayne Hemingway MBE, Creative Director, The Good Business Festival added, “We strongly believe in the power of business to effect positive change and this research suggests the Great British Public share that view.

“The current pandemic has increased our expectations of business to act purposefully and younger generations in particular are showing increasing interest in knowing which companies and brands are doing the right thing for society. In today’s inaugural Good Business Festival, we are bringing together the smartest minds from the business world with creative thinkers to drive the campaign for good business forward and drive positive change in society.”

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