About 62% of people see businesses as both more competent and ethical than their own governments and the media, according to the Edelman Trust Barometer.
In a poll conducted by public relations firm Edelman across 28 countries, only 51% trust their governments and 50% believe in the credibility of the media.
That was attributed to how companies treated workers during the Covid-19 pandemic and how quickly they exited Russia after its invasion in Ukraine.
“The increased level of trust in business brings with it higher-than-ever expectations of CEOs to be a leading voice on societal issues,” said Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman.
“By a six-to-one margin, respondents want more societal involvement by business on issues such as climate change, economic inequality and workforce reskilling.”
However, companies still face stirring contention by jumping into those topics, with 52% saying businesses can’t avoid politicization when they tackle divisive social issues.
On the other hand, 63% of consumers said that they buy or advocate for brands based on their beliefs and values.
Most respondents also believe that businesses should do more to deal with climate change, economic inequality and other issues.
This comes as social divisions have become entrenched, creating a polarized world that has left people feeling like they can’t overcome their differences or even willing to help others who don’t share their beliefs.