This Friday, Salter Baxter will publish its eighth annual study of corporate social responsibility. The study assesses the 50 biggest listed companies in Europe in March 2008 and names some of Europe’s most commonly criticized companies — such as British American Tobacco, Nestlé, and Royal Dutch Shell — as leaders in the field of corporate responsibility reporting, Guardian reports.
The consultancy’s choice of European leaders is likely to spark controversy. Sir Johnathon Porritt, Sustainable Development Commission’s chairman told the Guardian that “any case of so called leading companies in CSR that includes BAT is a sick joke.” Shell, for example, was recently accused of manipulating an environmental audit report.
The report found that four out of five companies had integrated sustainability into their business strategy. However, only 11 of the 50 companies assessed passed all of the other three tests set by the company for measuring up to the new phase of corporate responsibility. The consultancy dubs the new phase as CR 2.0 in which businesses went beyond “housekeeping” to tackle issues that were “complex, full of paradoxes and beset with conflicting agendas.”