Three-quarters of senior U.S. executives say corporate citizenship can boost profits over time, according the Economist Intelligence Unit’s report, “Corporate citizenship: profiting from a sustainable business” (PDF). Sixteen percent said the top motivation for such initiatives was revenue growth, another 16 percent said they aim to increase profits, and 13 percent said the main goal is to reduce costs.
The survey of more than 560 people found that despite a majority of respondents saying their business depends on effective corporate citizenship, only about one-quarter believe it is “very important” to overall business strategy, and only 28 percent of respondents characterized their CSR strategy as proactive.
However, the research showed that support for CSR initiatives extends to board level with 92 percent of respondents saying a board member or C-level executives is in charge of the company’s CSR strategy, and 34 percent of respondents said the board is setting the strategy.
The report also found that investment in CSR initiatives are significant, with 19 percent of respondents saying their company invests more than $1 million annually and almost half of the respondents say they expect their companies investment in CSR initiatives to increase over the next five years.