Big business improving at integrating CSR

19th March 2012

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  • Benchmarking



Business in the Community's 10th corporate responsibility index reveals that firms are better at creating and embedding a strategic approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR)

Results from the 10th Business in the Community (BitC) index reveal that participants are doing better at developing and incorporating CSR into their organisation’s governance and operations than they were a decade ago, with average scores awarded for strategy and integration improving from 81% and 61% respectively in 2002, to 97% and 90% in 2012.

The index of UK and globally operating businesses including BT, Marks and Spencer and Unilever, grades participants on their strategic approach to CSR, how well they integrate this approach into their everyday functions and their performance against specific goals.

The participating companies have revenues of more than £250 million, with 45% FTSE-listed, and voluntarily complete self-assessment using BitC’s ranking tool.

Alongside improving the integration of CSR into company operations, the results of the 10th index reveal that more big businesses are ensuring that corporate responsibility issues are being discussed at the board level. Ninety-two per cent of participants confirm that such issues are discussed at their board meetings, up from 65% in 2004, while 92% train board members in CSR, up from 85%.

The results also reveal a change in how firms are engaging senior staff members with a 49% increase in the number of companies linking CSR performance targets to bonuses and pay – 73% of firms now, compared with just 24% in 2002.

The 10th index ranked 110 firms, including 14 new entries, with EDF Energy, Sainsbury’s and The Co-operative Group, among those awarded the top grade (platinum plus). Dairy Crest Group were this year’s best new entry, receiving a gold ranking, and Veolia Environmental Services was recognised as the most improved firm, moving from the silver to the platinum band.

Overall scores for the participants remained stable at 89%, but the score specifically for environmental management improved by 5% on the 2011 index, to 93%.

However, the number of firms that use the ranking tool fell from 145 last year to 127, with organisations no longer listed in the public index including Rio Tinto, Network Rail, the Met Office and Rolls Royce.


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