Ethical Performance
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Trust between big business and communities remains fragile

New research commissioned by one of the UK’s largest employers reveals a significant lack of public trust in business. Indeed, 80% of those polled could not name one large business which they believed made any positive contribution to their local community. 

The nationally-representative survey of more than 2,000 people, undertaken by Ipsos MORI, was commissioned by Interserve Plc, the FTSE 250 international support services and construction company - and one of the UK’s largest private employers - to better understand public sentiment towards big businesses.

Interserve chief executive Adrian Ringrose, said: “Much has been made of the fragile relationship between big business and the communities we serve, and it’s evident from this research that we have some distance to go if we are to start to repair the damage which has been done over recent years. This report will make uncomfortable reading for many, but it’s an important piece of work which must be taken seriously.”

The Interserve Society Report - the first in an annual series of research reports sponsored by the company - examined public attitude to big business in relation to four specific areas: community engagement; treatment of employees; the environment and financial performance.

Stephen Howard, chief executive, of the charity Business in the Community (BITC), commented: “These findings highlight that businesses must both work much harder to rebuild trust and be more vocal in articulating the positive contribution they are already making to society.

“Every day a growing movement of responsible businesses are making a positive difference; be this through helping disadvantaged people into work; supporting entrepreneurs to grow their businesses or creating products that drive a sustainable future for us all. Yet much of this activity is invisible to customers, employees and the wider public.

Read the full report here.

UK & NI Ireland | Trust


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