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KPMG, PwC UK, and Unilever Tops CR Index

KPMG, Unilever and PricewaterhouseCoopers (UK only) have earned the Platinum Plus rating in this year’s Business in the Community Corporate Responsibility (CR) Index. These companies earned the index’s highest ranking by incorporating long-term sustainability into their business strategies.

As an example, KPMG was recognized for eliminating some short-haul flights, employee volunteering schemes, and moving to sustainable offices in Canary Wharf, reports Gaap Web.

Rounding out the top ten Platinum Plus rankings are last year’s winners BT Group, EDF Energy, National Grid, Northumbrian Water Group, Scottish & Southern Energy, The Co-operative Group, and United Utilities.

Only Platinum Plus companies are eligible for the organization’s Company of the Year award.

This year, 117 companies participated in the Index and 111 earned a spot in the annual ranking, which also include Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze levels.

Business in the Community says for companies higher in the index it indicates their achievements in creating positive social and environmental impacts.

These companies use the CR Index as a management tool to develop their CR strategy, monitor and benchmark their progress and achievements, and demonstrate effective management of environmental, social and governance issues, said Toby Schillito, Director of CR Index and Advisory Services.

The survey covers five sections (corporate strategy, integration, management, performance and impact and assurance and disclosure. The management section covers four key CR areas — community, environment, marketplace and workplace — while the performance and impact section evaluates environmental and social impact.

Twenty-nine companies retained their platinum status, achieving Platinum in the 2007 or 2008 CR Index and demonstrating continued commitment to corporate responsibility.

Here’s the listing:

–Accenture

–Deloitte LLP

–Reed Elsevier

–Anglian Water Services

–Ernst & Young

–Rio Tinto

–BAA

–H M Revenue and Customs

–RSA Insurance Group plc

–Barclays

–J Sainsbury

–RWE npower

–BHP Billiton

–John Lewis Partnership

–ScottishPower

–British American Tobacco

–Kelda Group

–Tesco

–British Broadcasting Corporation

–Kingfisher

–Veolia Water UK

–Camelot Group

–Lloyds Banking Group

–WH Smith

–Carillion plc

–Pearson

–Xstrata

–Centrica

–Reckitt Benckiser

A key finding shows that these companies are engaging with customers on the social and environmental impacts of their products and services, reports Financial Times. Eighty-three percent of participants in this year’s CR Index said they are engaging customers across the business, and 80 percent said they encourage positive customer behavior on these issues.

The benefits include differentiation among competitors, customer loyalty and new markets for sustainable products and services.

As an example cited in the article, J Sainsbury worked with the Marine Conservation Society (MSC) on a customer tool to rate the sustainability status of seafood it sells. The company also set a target to double its sales of MSC-certified fish by 2009. The result: the company’s share of cod sales has increased from 19 percent to 21 percent and haddock from 26 percent to 28 percent.

The most common methods used to engage consumers, according to CR Index companies, included posting information through company websites, reports and guides (37 percent), meeting industry standards or a company code of conduct (22 percent) and improving the sustainability of existing products and services (12 percent), according to Financial Times.

This year results were published in the Financial Times.

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