Business can have a positive influence on society


What is the impact business has on wider society? This is a question Deloitte has been asking to Millenials since 2013, in its survey. Every year the answer is positive, underlining how much companies behavior can have consequences on social life.
This year 76 percent are the Millenials that regard business as a force for positive social impact. “Super-connected millennials” (89 percent) and “active citizens” (80 percent) are among the strongest advocates of business. What is more important, 88 percent of people interviewed affirm business, in general, around the world is having a positive impact on the wider society in which they operate. Also within all demographic groups (gender, age, parental status, business sector, size of employer, etc.), a majority believes that business has a positive impact on society.
According to Deloitte survey, more than six in 10 millennials (62 percent) consider business leaders as committed to helping improve society (a nine point increase since 2015). A greater increase is visible in the proportion agreeing that “businesses behave in an ethical manner” (65 percent, up 13 points). Meanwhile, criticism of business is diminishing, with a 16 point drop (since 2015) in the proportion saying that businesses focus on their own agendas (rather than considering wider society). Business leaders’ commitment to helping improve society is thought to be lower in mature markets (51 percent) than in emerging markets (73 percent). «It is in a by-now-predictable group of countries – the report says – where perceptions are lower (Belgium, South Korea, Netherlands, Italy, and Switzerland) and where business leaders as a whole are possibly failing to demonstrate their commitment to social improvement».
Another interesting data emerged from the survey is the general idea that larger companies do not do enough to alleviate society’s challenges. Six in 10 (59 percent) survey respondents believe multinational businesses have made a positive impact on the challenges millennials cited as their greatest concerns, such as economic and social progress, conflict, inequality, corruption, etc. However, this figure is significantly below those who believe such organizations have the potential to make a positive impact (74 percent). Overall, the impact gap (that between the potential and actual impact on issues of concern) stands at 15 points and is higher in mature markets (18 points) than in emerging markets (12 points).