Corporate citizenship and sustainability on the upswing
A survey by The Conference Board finds that companies find potential rewards in corporate citizenship and sustainability but acknowledge they lack an active strategy to develop new business opportunities in connection with corporate responsibility. The survey encompassed 198 medium to large multinational companies. Findings include:
- A mixed perspective exists regarding corporate citizenship and sustainability; 90% of companies say these issues are sources of both business opportunity and business risk.
- Two-thirds say corporate citizenship and sustainability are of growing importance for their businesses.
- Sixty-two percent (62%) have formal programs to manage their corporate citizenship and sustainability practice, however, the majority of companies are not actively developing related business products.
- Key drivers of corporate citizenship programs that were cited as extremely or very important were — Enhancing corporate reputation and brand (92%); Recruiting and retaining talent (78%); Reducing risk (64%).
- External stakeholders cited as having the most influence (i.e., extremely or very important) on corporate citizenship and sustainability issues were local communities (70%), customers/consumers (65%), shareholders (52%), governments (51%), financial institutions and investors (43%). Somewhat surprisingly, non-governmental units were highly ranked in importance by only 37% and the media by 27%.
- A majority of those surveyed (71%) issue public reports on citizenship and sustainability with 52% doing so in reports separate from their financial reports.