Company pulse 2019


This nationwide poll of Australian business aims to better understand community expectations of business; and the challenges facing business leaders.
Download report: Company Pulse 2019
Download: Company Pulse report snapshot
Read media release: Australians expect more from business than just profits

CEDA’s inaugural Company Pulse is a nationwide survey of the general public and business leaders that includes more than 3000 people.

Overall, the results show the community expects a broad contribution from business including on social and environmental issues. While our survey highlights many issues that the community and business leaders are aligned on – perhaps more so than might be expected – it also identifies areas of disconnect.

Business and the general public agree that expectations of business have risen. However, scepticism remains around whether the behaviour of business has improved, and whether business leaders are seeking to advance national interests or their own company’s when they speak out on important issues.
  • More than 70 per cent of the general public agreed that large companies should place equal importance on economic, environmental and social performance; 
  • More than three-quarters of survey respondents supported business leaders speaking out on issues of national importance, including social and environmental issues;
  • More women than men rank environmental and social issues as higher priorities for business;
  • Millennials ranked environment, ethical supply chains and work/life balance for employees as issues of importance while baby boomers ranked quality products and paying small businesses promptly as issues of importance.

State specifc results

Along with the national results, CEDA released state specific results from Company Pulse. 

About the survey

Building on CEDA’s 2018 Community Pulse survey, which explored the community’s views on economic growth and development, Company Pulse provides insights on the community’s expectations of business and how these expectations compare with the priorities of business leaders.

The decline of community trust in business has been much talked about. Better understanding community expectations of business and responding to them will build greater trust in business and its contribution to our economy and society. That, in turn, can help to enable business and business leaders to inform policy debates and reforms critical to Australia’s future prosperity.

Areas that are explored in our report of the survey’s results include:
  • priorities for large companies;
  • social licence to operate;
  • whether business leaders should speak out on economic, environmental and social issues;
  • expectations around honest and ethical behaviour from large companies;
  • how well large companies are performing across a range of areas such as health and safety, looking after customers, environmental impact, employment, tax contributions, shareholder returns and treatment of business suppliers;
  • the relative importance of company, economic, social and environmental performance
  • business responsibilities and obligations to employees, shareholders, customers, suppliers, local communities and governments.

Company Pulse release events 

Brisbane | 26 September 2019 
Perth  | 2 October 2019
Sydney | 2 October 2019
Melbourne | 3 October 2019
Adelaide | 3 October 2019

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