Some 60 percent of companies have a corporate social responsibility executive, a 74 increase over what firms reported in 2010, a study says.
Almost a third of these CSR execs are within one level of the chief executive and almost 100 percent of companies have a CSR budget, compared to 81 percent in 2010, according to the Carroll School of Management Center for Corporate Citizenship report.
Profile of the Practice 2013, a biennial research report from the Carroll School of Management Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College, explores how the environmental, social and governance (ESG) dimensions of business — the study classifies these as “corporate citizenship” — are managed in today’s business world, and how these practices have evolved since the last report in 2010.
It is based on a survey of 231 companies that provided data on their corporate citizenship strategies, operational structures and business practices.
Katherine Smith, executive director at Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, says the survey shows that CSR continues to be more deeply embedded in business and more executives realize that ESG measures correlate to positive financial performance, improved reputation and solid risk management.
Other findings include:
- The chief executive is more involved in developing strategy, setting goals, and communicating corporate citizenship than reported in both 2008 and 2010. More than 25 percent indicate that their chief executive is highly involved in corporate citizenship program evaluation.
- More than 70 percent of companies cited enhanced reputation among the top three business goals they are trying to achieve through their corporate citizenship efforts. The next most frequently cited goals are improving employee retention (45 percent), improving employee recruitment (41 percent), attracting new customers (33 percent), and improving risk management (22 percent).
Companies that introduce a sustainability strategy throughout their supply chain generally see a boost in their financial performance — but those that don’t fully commit to the strategy generally see a decline in revenue, according to a study published this month by Clark University researchers.