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More Firms Appointing Lead Corporate Responsibility Role

The proportion of organizations with a lead role overseeing corporate responsibility shot up to 62 percent in 2011, versus 42 percent in 2010, according to a survey by Corporate Responsibility Magazine, the Corporate Responsibility Officer Association and NYSE Euronext.

Corporate Responsibility Best Practices: CR Practices Among Global Corporations found that senior-level engagement in CR is increasing, with 66 percent of CEOs driving a CR-related initiative in the past year. Formal CR programs are also gaining popularity: 72 percent of companies surveyed have such programs, up from 62 percent in 2010.

The poll found that 77 percent of companies expect to expand their CR programs over the next three years, but only 60 percent of organizations have dedicated CR budgets.

CR Magazine sent surveys to all firms on the NYSE Euronext Indices plus all companies in the magazine’s database, and received 300 responses. The revenue split of respondents is shown above.

The survey revealed that nearly 80 percent of respondents believe that their CEOs understand the CR function and how it meshes with operations, and nearly 86 percent say their CEOs believe CR to be important, up from 81 percent the year before. Compared to these levels, active board engagement in CR is low but rising, the survey found.

The magazine found that 68 percent of companies publish a CR report, up from 55 percent in 2010. Mid-sized firms struggle more than small and large firms to implement CR programs.

The top benefits that companies reap from their CR programs are improvements to customer relations and employee attraction/retention, the survey found.

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