Business Leaders Look to Obama to Advance CR Agenda
5 December 2008 at 9:39 am
Nearly 9 out of 10 business leaders believe US. President-Elect Obama will help advance the corporate responsibility agenda according to a new survey.
The survey was released against the backdrop of economic turmoil and an historic U.S. presidential election, when business leaders from around the world discussed sustainable business practices during the recent Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) Conference.
According to the "BSR/Cone 2008 Corporate Responsibility in a New World Survey" of 424 Conference participants, more than two-thirds of the business leaders say that more responsible business practices could have lessened, or even prevented, the current economic downturn.
Aron Cramer, President and CEO of BSR says more than 1200 business leaders at the BSR Conference have confirmed that business success helps them weather uncertain times—and build long-term value that will restore trust in the private sector.
Additionally, nearly nine out of 10 survey respondents believe U.S. President-Elect Barack Obama will have a positive impact on advancing the corporate responsibility agenda.
Cramer says the incoming Obama Administration can chart a more effective path to long-term economic recovery by embracing sustainability.
Survey respondents outlined the three most important steps the Obama Administration should take to advance corporate responsibility around the world:
• Promote major investments in renewable energy and carbon capture and storage technologies. (67 percent)
• Take measurable steps toward progress on effective, efficient, and fair global climate change mitigation strategies. (53 percent)
• Initiate cross-sector collaboration among business, government, and civil society. (42 percent)
At the same time, an overwhelming majority (94 percent) anticipate increased government regulation of issues related to corporate responsibility, including climate change (86 percent) and corporate governance and financial transparency (83 percent).
Nearly three-quarters of business leaders (72 percent) expect that there will be increasing demands on business to solve societal problems, and more than half believe business will meet those demands.
Even though a third of survey respondents say their corporate responsibility budget will decrease due to economic conditions, 77 percent remain optimistic that global business will embrace responsible business practices as part of their core strategies and operations over the next five years.
While corporate values are an important driver of corporate responsibility decisions (59 percent), companies today seek reputation benefits (84 percent) and long-term cost savings or efficiencies (75 percent) as return for their corporate responsibility investments.
The BSR/Cone 2008 Corporate Responsibility in a New World Survey was conducted November 5, 2008, among a sample of corporate responsibility professionals attending the Business for Social Responsibility Conference.
The sample population is comprised of 424 representatives from business, NGOs, government, and academia, representing 28 countries. See the survey fact sheet at www.bsr.org/files/BSR_Cone_2008_Survey.pdf