Perception of CSR Linked to Reputation
6 November 2008 at 3:19 pm
A new ranking of the top 50 companies in the United States that the public distinguishes for corporate social responsibility has been released by the Boston College Centre for Corporate Citizenship and Reputation Institute.
Google, Campbell Soup, Johnson & Johnson top the 2008 Corporate Social Responsibility Index (CSRI). Rounding out the top 10 are: Walt Disney, Kraft Foods, General Mills, Levi Strauss, UPS, Berkshire Hathaway and Microsoft.
The ranking was created using data principally collected for Reputation Institute’s 2008 Global Pulse Study.
In creating this first CSRI, the researchers used a subset of survey results that focused on more than 200 companies with a dominant presence in the United States and believed to have a reasonably high recognition factor with the general public.
The data used focused on the public perception about a company’s corporate citizenship, governance and workplace practices.
Philip Mirvis, senior research fellow for the Boston College Centre for Corporate Citizenship says that although the survey was taken before the Wall Street collapse, the U.S. findings show that corporate governance—ethics and transparency—are increasing in their importance to overall corporate reputation.
The survey asked the public to judge a company on how it treats employees, its ethics, and its community involvement and respect for the environment.
By focusing on the three dimensions of corporate citizenship, governance and workplace practices surveyed for the larger Global Pulse Study, Reputation Institute and the Boston College Centre were able to gain greater insight into the combined influence on reputation of social programs, management practices, and employee relations.
These three measures account for more than 40 percent of a company’s reputation, according to Reputation Institute’s analysis. This makes it critical for companies to communicate how they support good causes, protect the environment, treat their employees, and run their business ethically.
On a scale of 1-to-100, top-ranked Google scored 80.84. With the exception of Berkshire Hathaway, consumer-oriented companies made up the majority of the top 20 CSRI performers.
Only a few business-to-business focused companies were included in the top 50: Cisco Systems (70.96), Sun Microsystems (70.70), Express Scripts (70.32), Deloitte & Touche (70.12) and Boeing (69.88).
The general public tends to rate makers of consumer products, computers, and beverages higher along social dimensions. Industries that fall below the global average include construction/engineering, finance, utilities and telecommunications.
Get copy of the report on Corporate Reputation and Social Responsibility Rankings at www.BCCorporateCitizenship.org.