CR Index Shows Australia Lags behind Global Companies
17 April 2013 at 11:00 am
Despite ongoing economic challenges facing business, the 2013 Corporate Responsibility Index paints a positive global picture of levels of commitment to responsible business while revealing that Australia and New Zealand continue to lag behind.
The Corporate Responsibility Index (CR Index) is described as one of the world’s leading and most in-depth voluntary benchmarks of corporate responsibility, designed for all companies (public, private and government owned corporations).
Over 100 companies participating globally achieved a ‘Gold’ level average of 90% in this year’s 2013 CR Index – Including; Unilever, Heineken, Marks & Spencer and Lloyds Banking Group.
Of the 33 global companies that participated, only 14 included their Australian and New Zealand operations for ranking, whereas the remaining 19 excluded their Australian and New Zealand operations for ranking – including PwC, E&Y, KPMG, Zurich, Ricoh and Siemens.
“While the Index continues to evolve and raise the bar on what constitutes best practice in corporate responsibility and sustainability, local company involvement has declined and Net Balance Foundation is working with BITC to re-establish it in the region for the benefit of past, present and future participants,” the CR Index Manager for Australia and New Zealand, Net Balance Foundation Alan Dayeh said.
Net Balance Foundation manages the CR Index in Australia and New Zealand on behalf of Business in the Community.
“While over 50 companies across Australia and New Zealand have participated in the CR Index over the past 10 years, the average A&NZ results lag behind their global and UK peers,” Dayeh said.
“This should be of concern to local companies that may in fact be performing well, but do not have a credible and independent way of letting their customers and stakeholder know that they take corporate responsibility and sustainability seriously. This Index provides a unique opportunity for companies to publicly profile their performance,” he said.
“Another area of concern is that almost two thirds (60%) of global companies are excluding their Australian and New Zealand operations from the ranking. These include some high profile companies and brands (including PwC, E&Y, KPMG, Zurich, Ricoh and Siemens) that stakeholders would expect to be taking their efforts seriously, regardless of their global head office location.”
Stephen Howard, Chief Executive, Business in the Community said: “The CR Index tells us that, despite the complexities of this agenda and the tough economic challenges they’re facing, our leading companies are continuing to invest in responsible business and truly integrate it within their operations.”
One Australian company, Teachers Mutual Bank has leapt up the international CSR ladder, jumping from Bronze to Gold status in the international CR Index .
Achieving Gold status with a score of 90%, Teachers Mutual Bank significantly increased its rating from its previous Bronze status of 79% in 2012.
Steve James, CEO of Teachers Mutual Bank, said: “As a small Australian financial institution competitively benchmarked against large global companies, we’re punching well above our weight, not only in the finance sector but against all sectors. Achievement of Gold status shows that we are a responsible business and that, for us, CSR is built-in, not bolted on.”
“As a mutual bank, we believe that profit has a purpose. In the past 12 months, we’ve continued to improve our organisational performance to become a national and international leader in sustainability. We are honoured to receive such a high accolade for our effort. ”