Australia's Sixth Corporate Responsibility Index
25 June 2009 at 1:26 pm
This year’s St James Ethics Centre’s Corporate Responsibility Index (CRI) has been framed within the context of the Global Economic Crisis (GEC) with participating companies being described as demonstrating leadership in tough times.
St James Ethics Centre Executive Director Simon Longstaff says the 38 companies that participated have been prepared to engage in a rigorous process of self-examination. The CRI is an integrated and comprehensive tool that allows for a professionally validated assessment of environment, social and governance performance.
Longstaff says these are precisely the areas that need to be understood by the boards and senior management of organisations if they are to avoid some of the errors that triggered the current global recession.
The top five companies in order of performance are: EnergyAustralia, Boral Limited, Minter Ellison Lawyers, ANZ and Foster’s Group Limited.
Index results highlights include:
• The greatest improvement in performance from last year’s Index was achieved by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
• Eleven new companies joined the project in 2008, ten submitting through St James Ethics Centre (including one module
participant) and one new global submission through BITC in the UK.
• Of these new entrants Sensis Pty Ltd had the best performance of the publicly participating Australian and New Zealand organisations.
• The companies that have participated in all six iterations of the Index scored an average of 93%.
• To date over 70 companies have used the Index in Australia and New Zealand.
Simon Longstaff says those organisations that have shown the commitment to measure and report their performance, in the field of corporate responsibility, may not be perfect. However, they are part of the solution to a set of problems that require a better response than we have seen in the past.
He says organisations completing the CRI are positioning themselves for the future. Eventually, the gloom will lift. I think that the sun will shine especially brightly on those who resisted the temptation to withdraw into their shells; rewarding those who invested in their capacity for responsible business conduct when it would have been so easy not to do so.
The Corporate Responsibility Index is part of the National Responsible Business Practice Project funded by the Federal Government, through Treasury, to enable St James Ethics Centre to engage Australian businesses in identifying and adopting more responsible business practices. The Index, developed and maintained by Business in the Community (UK), is a project of St James Ethics Centre and supported by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
For more information go to www.ethics.org.au