CSR Research Digest – December 2012
New York based Corporate and investor relations firm Adam Friedman Associates recently conducted a survey on corporate social responsibility globally. The survey of CSR executives focused on how executives within Fortune 1000 organizations develop, measure and report the results of their CSR initiatives.
- Profits and CSR are closely linked, and many businesses evaluate the relationship between these two variables when developing strategy.
- Some executives believe the CSR function may disappear altogether as corporations begin to absorb CSR into all aspects of their business and make it a part of every employee’s responsibilities.
- As companies begin to assess and measure the effects their CSR programs have on the business’s reputation, CSR may increase in both scope and importance.
- When evaluating motivations behind CSR policy, results signal that the primary motivation behind CSR initiatives lies in the company’s reputation (88%), followed by the company’s competitive positioning and social consciousness (71%).
- Significantly, profitability (38%) and pending or existing legislation (32%) were determined to be motivating factors.
- Results overwhelmingly show that respondents believe CSR is either very or extremely important to the mission of their companies (86%).
- Results suggest that internally the opinions of C-suite executives (86%) and other employees (76%) are most important when measuring the company’s CSR efforts.
- Following the C-suite and board of directors, respondents said the legal (51%) and public relations (45%) departments were both involved nearly half the time when setting CSR strategies, and the sales (24%) and marketing (30%) departments were involved nearly a quarter of the time.
- In terms of external audiences, the opinions of customers (73%) and investors (69%) were the most important considerations when measuring CSR strategies.
- More than half the time, companies evaluated the company’s media coverage (51%) and government feedback (52%) to assess the success of their CSR programs.
- When evaluating communication channels corporations use to disseminate information about the organization’s CSR policies, respondents indicated that they most commonly use the company’s website (95%) and the annual report (72%) for CSR-related communication, but more than half of respondents also indicated that they disseminate information via social media (54%) including Facebook and Twitter.
- Respondents said environmental issues were a top focus (96%), followed by health issues (68%), educational issues (59%), human rights (55%), labor issues (50%) and an additional number cited safety (11%) as a program focus.
Adam Friedman Associates