Failure To Manage Corporate Responsibility Puts Shareholder Value At Risk

Press release from the issuing company

New York, NY, April 7, 2003 - A new report titled “The Business of Business” based on a survey of over 160 corporate responsibility professionals conducted by Ethical Corporation magazine and independent research firm Nima Hunter, Inc. reveals broad consensus on a number of issues critical to management of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability. In addition, the study provides insight into knowledge gaps and divergent opinions about strategies and tactics best suited to creating shareholder value through effective CSR management. Here is what business leaders and CSR professionals are saying about the “Business of Business” report: “This report clearly shows how, by being responsive to the expectations of a company's stakeholders, CSR becomes a strategic activity that builds shareholder value and strengthens the brand.” Pierre Danon, CEO, BT Retail "Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainable Development, Corporate Citizenship - whatever the term, this report confirms the emerging view by enlightened business leaders that a comprehensive, integrated program can indeed lead to increased shareholder value.  The data is credible and the emerging successes from these companies will make the case compelling.” Scott D. Noesen, Director of Sustainable Development, Dow Chemical Company “Well written, very clearly presented. This report shows the current thinking of CSR leaders, what's important and what's not.  It is a valuable tactical tool for making the link between CSR and areas for making each business case.” David Bonistall, Director, Sustainable Development MeadWestvaco Corporation “The questions asked are probing and fair and the results should be interesting to business and non-business interests alike. Congrats on a very helpful study.” Dr. Kernaghan Webb, Senior Legal Policy Analyst, Office of Consumer Affairs Industry Canada,  Facilitator, ISO Corporate Social Responsibility and Standards Online Forum, Results of the survey indicate overwhelming agreement by CSR professionals that effective corporate social responsibility management creates shareholder value. However, despite increased investor and stakeholder interest in environmental and social performance, the survey findings make it clear that corporations have yet to take adequate action to change perceptions of corporate environmentalism as superficial “Greenwash.” According to principal investigator Don Carli of Nima Hunter Inc. “Failure to manage corporate social responsibility places shareholder value at risk. Failure to close the gap between perceptions of greenwash and verifiable CSR performance places the brand equity and reputation of well managed companies in peril. There are significant performance gaps that must be bridged and many challenges to be met. Among tactics most frequently identified with responsible companies seeking to close those gaps is environmentally preferable procurement. The study found that initiatives for environmentally preferable publishing, printing, packaging and paper purchasing can support efforts to improve CSR performance in meaningful and measurable ways. Their ubiquity and financial significance present significant opportunities to raise awareness of CSR concepts, reduce environmental impacts and increase organizational capacity for management of corporate social responsibility." An 80 page report containing an executive summary, detailed findings, analysis of the survey results and recommendations has now been completed. The report is available in PDF format for US$149.00. Subscriptions to the report in PDF format are available to Ethical Corporation Magazine subscribers for US$99.00. For more information about subscription to the report send email to: [email protected]