What’s In a Name? Internal CSR Trends Revealed
15 January 2014 at 9:19 am
CSR trends revealed in a recent US study include preference for the terms corporate citizenship, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and corporate responsibility (CR) among companies seeking to describe the environmental, social and governance (ESG) dimensions of business.
The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship conducted its Profile of the Practice study in the third quarter of 2013 with the intent of analysing how companies manage their ESG efforts.
The survey of 231 companies followed up on a 2010 study and covered structure, strategy, leadership engagement, professional development, measuring, reporting and communicating with stakeholders regarding corporate citizenship efforts.
Results suggest the percentage of companies with executives leading corporate citizenship had increased 74 per cent from 2010 to 2013.
While these employees were assigned a broad array of departments, most often they were based in corporate citizenship (CSR, CR and sustainability) and corporate communications departments.
According to the report, CSR executives were achieving corporate seniority, with close to one-third of corporate citizenship leaders within one level of the chief executive.
The chief executive was more involved in developing strategy, setting goals, and communicating corporate citizenship than reported in 2010, with more than 60 per cent of chief executives engaged with supporting events and initiatives, and 25 per cent highly involved in corporate citizenship program evaluation.
Fifty-nine per cent of companies reported they had a formal corporate citizenship department, while 55 per cent of those had been in operation for more than five years.
Almost one-half of companies reported that they have five or more employees with corporate citizenship responsibility, compared with 30 per cent of companies reporting staffing at that level in 2010.
Almost all companies (97 per cent) reported having an annual operating budget dedicated to corporate citizenship, compared to 81 per cent of companies in 2010. These budgets were at least $1 million for 30 per cent of companies and did not include philanthropic giving.
Of the almost two-thirds of companies who reported having a formal corporate citizenship strategy, many were prioritising one of their key internal stakeholder groups, employees.
While more than 70 per cent of companies cited enhanced reputation among the top three business goals they are trying to achieve through their corporate citizenship efforts, the next most frequently cited goals were improving employee retention (45 per cent) and improving employee recruitment (41 per cent).
Read more about the findings here.