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Name a Socially Responsible Company? - Not Yet!

Thursday, 17th July 2003 at 1:07 pm
Staff Reporter
According to a new international survey, significant proportions of people in most countries are unable to name a socially responsible company.

Thursday, 17th July 2003
at 1:07 pm
Staff Reporter



Name a Socially Responsible Company? - Not Yet!
Thursday, 17th July 2003 at 1:07 pm

According to a new international survey, significant proportions of people in most countries are unable to name a socially responsible company.

The fourth Annual Corporate Social Responsibility Monitor in Canada surveyed over 21,000 consumers, shareholders, and corporate employees in 21 countries, including Australia.

It found the public still can’t name socially responsible companies despite consistently high expectations for companies to be socially responsible, a strong interest in learning about corporate performance and high levels of consumer activism.

There is nearly a global consensus that companies should go beyond philanthropy and apply their expertise and technology-not just their financial resources-to solve social problems.

The survey says that as public expectations of corporate citizenship continue to grow, successful companies will be required to find new ways to contribute to society.

It says there is strong interest among consumers to learn more about CSR initiatives by companies. Three in four people across the world express interest in learning more about corporate social responsibility initiatives by companies.

The fact that consumers, especially in wealthy markets, also feel empowered to influence corporate behaviour suggests that corporate communications may be well received by consumers.

The survey also found that the last year has shown a surge in the proportion of consumers that report having punished a company they perceive as socially irresponsible. This trend is particularly pronounced in industrialised countries.

The survey topics were:
Corporate Governance
• Trust in companies vs government, NGOs etc.
• Comparing corporate leadership with political leadership
• Unethical corporate behaviour: the rule or the exception
• Corporate responsibility to shareholders vs broader society
• Trust in accuracy of financial statements
• View on executive compensation
• Use of laws to enforce CSR
Expectations of Companies
• Role of large companies in society
• Assessing corporate role in 13 specific areas (helping solve social problems, education, reducing poverty, human rights etc.)
Communicating CSR
• Expectations of financial vs social reporting
• Trust in corporate CSR communications
• Effect on the reputations of corporations and NGOs when they work in
Rating Companies on CSR
• CSR performance of large companies
• Most socially responsible company
• Least socially responsible company
• Perceived social responsibility of domestic, American and European
• Rating 18 industry sectors on CSR
Ethical Consumer
• Actions taken to punish irresponsible companies
• Willingness to pay more for product if company donated money to charity
• Willingness to pay more for product if company produced it responsibly
• Preferential pricing in poor countries
Socially Responsible Investing
• Proportion of shareholders in population
• Effect of CSR performance on personal investment decisions
• Importance of social vs financial performance
• Effect of social reporting on investment decisions
• Perceptions of profitability: responsible companies vs irresponsible
Human Resources
• Proportion of population who are employees of large companies
• Trust in employer to be financially vs socially responsible
• CSR vs salary in employment decision
• Eight demographic questions: education, age, sex, community size,
religion, employment in large companies, household income, Internet and email use

The countries that took part were Australia, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Turkey and the USA.

For more information go to:www.EnvironicsInternational.com/sp-csr.asp.

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