Results of a new survey of sustainability business professionals show that corporate social responsibility (CSR) has a high profile inside their companies. Seventy-two percent of the survey responders stated that their CEO publicly communicates their company’s commitment to CSR, 47 percent believe they have the resources needed to achieve their CSR goals and 94 percent expect environmental, health and safety (EHS) and CSR to have more impact on business strategy over the next five years.
But the survey, Sustainable Business & Strategy: Views From the Inside, from the Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI) and Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), points to questions in the minds of these professionals that require further exploration like how effective sustainability reporting is, and how well companies are building sustainability into their overall brand footprint.
The focus of the survey was on different aspects of EHS and CSR program management. The respondents, 54 sustainability professionals who are members of GEMI and/or BSR, came from a broad range of business sectors with consumer product companies representing the largest single business sector completing the survey (35 percent). Most respondents (89 percent) were from companies that were headquartered in North America. Annual sales of those companies participating in the survey ranged from $2 million to $95 billion, with an average (mean) of $21 billion. The majority of the respondents (77 percent) were from BSR member companies and almost half (46 percent) were GEMI companies. Almost one-quarter (23 percent) were both GEMI and BSR members.