Steep Rise in Public Support for Regulating Corporate Sustainability

Recent public opinion data from GlobeScan shows that public support for the regulation of corporate sustainability has grown dramatically over the past two decades in many important markets globally, suggesting the so-called backlash against ESG regulation needs to be more widely endorsed by the general public. 

Substantial majorities in key markets like China, France, Germany, Mexico, the UK, and the USA now say they agree with their governments creating laws that require large companies to go beyond their traditional economic role and work to make a better society, even with the caveat that this could lead to higher prices and fewer jobs. Support for regulation has more than doubled in France and Germany over the past two decades and tripled in Mexico, while in the USA and the UK, support has grown enormously just over the past decade.

Growing public recognition that governments should step in contradicts the narrative that ESG legislation is controversial; it is now widely supported and increasingly so. This means that instead of resisting regulation and risking public backlash, companies need to proactively work together with governments on regulations and advocate for policies that help deliver the social and environmental impact that is needed. Read more in our Joint Advocacy for Sustainability report with WWF.

Source: GlobeScan Radar Trends Report  (survey of 29,565 people in the general public across 31 countries and territories in July ‒ August 2023), 2023 China (n=890); Mexico (n=800); France (n=821); UK (n=769); Germany (n=804); USA (n=1,219)