Energy, raw materials and telecom may be signature industries in Canada, but they also carry the worst reputations, according to a new survey.
The Reputation Institute’s RepTrak survey for 2017 found the hospitality and technology industries came out on top, while telecommunications had the worst reputation among industries in Canada. Raw materials and energy were not far behind.
According to RepTrak, perceptions of corporate social responsibility — how the public views a business’s behaviour in society — is becoming increasingly important to its reputation.
In Canada, the largest part of the energy industry, oil, is struggling with perceptions that it stands in the way of climate initiatives. Raw materials companies are often linked to environmental damage, and — in the case of Canadian mining companies — dubious practices abroad.
And with telecom, many consumers complain of unclear billing, unfair billing and high prices.
It’s “more challenging for companies in these industries to manage reputation,” the report said.
The RepTrak survey also asked which companies Canadians view as being the most reputable. This year’s winner? Google, with a score of 81.96.
"It's no surprise the reputations of all top 10 companies reflect their commitment to social responsibility, as these companies are associated with making the world a better place," Hecht said.
One notable change on the list from last year is the arrival of two Canadian companies — Mountain Equipment Co-Op (MEC) and Shoppers Drug Mart -- to the top 10. No Canadian companies cracked the overall top 10 last year.
MEC CEO David Labistour attributed some of the company's reputation to its involvement in the community, "from holding community events to support [people] to be active outdoors, to reducing the environmental footprint of our operations through programs like zero waste."
Here are the most reputable Canadian companies, as viewed by Canadians.
The survey asked respondents to grade companies according to seven criteria: products and services, innovation, workplace, governance, citizenship, leadership and financial performance.
The RepTrak survey collected 30,000 ratings on 300 companies from Canadians in the first quarter of this year. It used only answers from respondents who said they were "somewhat" or "very" familiar with the companies they were rating.