Executives Think the Public Now Cares Less About Green

Sustainable life media logo2 Sustainable Life Media reports on the impact that the recession has had on executives' perceptions as revealed in a recent McKinsey survey. Only 49% of respondents viewed environment as a top concern to the public (as opposed to 57% in 2008). Despite respondents acknowledging that executive compensation has become a public interest, more executives believed that large corporations contribute to the public good in 2009 vs. 2008.

Posted Nov. 30, 2009
By Sustainable Life Media

The financial crisis has increased the public’s expectations of
business’s role in society. Most companies have maintained or increased
their efforts to address sociopolitical issues, and many have already
derived better-than-expected benefits from doing so.

The global downturn has shifted executives’ perceptions about the
issues that matter most to the public, according to a recent McKinsey
survey.

The environment is perceived as being less critical to the public than it was a year ago (only 49% of respondents marked it as a top concern of the public, compared with 57% in 2008), while executive compensation has moved more into the spotlight (28% in 2009 versus 15% in 2008).

Despite
the global economic downturn, a greater proportion of executives than
last year say large corporations make a positive contribution to the
public good, according to the fourth annual McKinsey survey on the role
of business in society. Although a smaller share of executives than in
2007 say large corporations make a positive contribution to the public
good (59 percent this year versus 67 percent in 2007), executives think
the crisis has increased the public’s expectations of business’s role
in society. In response, companies are maintaining or increasing their
engagement in social and political issues. As a result, most are
already reaping business benefits that far exceed a reputational boost.

For
the fourth consecutive year, executives answered questions on which
social and political issues will gain public prominence and which will
have the greatest impact on shareholder value. This year, the survey
also explored the impact of the financial crisis on companies’
sociopolitical agendas and the financial benefits companies have gained
from addressing a variety of social and political issues.

Executives
think the environment still commands the most public attention, but, as
a result of the crisis, they expect executive compensation and
companies’ political influence and involvement to gain prominence.
Nonetheless, the crisis has not changed their own long-term views on
which issues will affect shareholder value
the most: the environment (including climate change), companies’
political influence, health care and other employee benefits, executive
compensation, and privacy and data security.

Read the full synopsis of the McKinsey Report here

Reprinted Courtesy of GLOBE-Net

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