Consumers tend to trust, recommend and buy from corporations involved in addressing public health issues, a global study has found.
Of the 15,257 people interviewed for the Edelman Health Engagement Barometer 2010, 73 percent said it was as important to protect the public's health as it was to protect the environment.
The study was conducted between February and March 2010 by public relations firm Edelman and involved participants from Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the U.K. and U.S.
Seventy-two percent of respondents said they would trust a company more if it was effectively engaged in health, and 65 percent said they would recommend and buy products from those companies.
However, 51 percent said businesses were doing only a fair or poor job in this arena, and only 36 percent trusted businesses to "fulfil their role in addressing health".
Businesses in the consumer technology industry were advised to encourage employees and their families to lead healthier lives and educate the public on health topics related to their products or services.
Other priorities for technology businesses were communicating the health risks of their products and services, and supporting the health of their local communities.
"Business has gone 'Green'-now it's time to go 'Health,'" said Edelman's global president of health, Nancy Turett in a statement.
"For a company to be prosperous and relevant in the future, it has to factor health into its business strategy, not only to fulfil its social contract with all stakeholders but to realise its full market potential."