The Corporate Responsibility Index (CR Index) is one of the world’s leading and most in-depth voluntary and credible benchmarks of corporate responsibility, designed for all companies (public, private and government owned corporations).
Over 100 companies participating globally achieved a ‘Gold’ level average of 90% in this year’s 2013 CR Index – Including; Unilever, Heineken, Marks & Spencer and Lloyds Banking Group. Of the 33 global companies that participated, only 14 included their Australia and New Zealand operations for ranking, whereas the remaining 19 excluded their Australia & New Zealand operations for ranking – including PwC, E&Y, KPMG, Zurich, Ricoh and Siemens.
While over 50 companies across Australia and New Zealand have participated in the CR Index over the past 10 years, the average A&NZ results lag their global and UK peers.
While ASX listed companies have been notably absent from participating, their FTSE counterparts continue to push forward with their efforts, to their advantage. UK companies using the Index to consistently measure and manage their corporate responsibility performance outperformed their FTSE 350 peers on total shareholder return in seven out of the last eight years.
Developed in the UK, the CR Index is one of the world’s leading and most in-depth voluntary benchmarks of corporate responsibility. It has been run by Business in the Community for over a decade to help companies; accurately measure and manage all aspects of their social and environmental performance; shape how they integrate and improve corporate responsibility throughout their business operations and benchmark themselves against competitors. All participants have the opportunity to gain public profile and recognition from being included in the CR Index ranking.
The CR Index is one of the only benchmarking tools that allow all companies (including public, private, partnerships, franchises and government owned corporations) to rank and compare their corporate responsibility performance, globally and across their sectors. Net Balance Foundation manages the CR Index in Australia and New Zealand on behalf of Business in the Community.
“The CR Index is the only external benchmarking survey available in Australia and New Zealand that compares processes and practises that are integral to our business, such as the environment, community contribution, how we operate in the marketplace and the wellness of our employees against global standards of best practice - I’m proud of Diageo Australia’s continued achievement of the Platinum rating in the CR Index. We measure our success as a business on more than financial targets – the contribution we make to communities and the environment, and being a leader in responsible practices, is fundamental to our day-to-day business.” Tim Salt, Managing Director, Diageo Australia
Despite the ongoing economic challenges facing business, the 2013 CR Index paints a positive picture of levels of commitment to responsible business. Participating companies achieved a high average ‘Gold-level’ score of 89% indicating that companies are continuing to overcome commercial pressures to maintain their investment in and engagement with responsible business.
Stephen Howard, Chief Executive, Business in the Community said: “The CR Index tells us that, despite the complexities of this agenda and the tough economic challenges they’re facing, our leading companies are continuing to invest in responsible business and truly integrate it within their operations.”
“Responsible business matters – to businesses, employees, communities and the long term sustainability of the planet. This Index is a key tool to help the public to understand what good business looks like while also providing examples to inspire many more companies to accelerate the pace of change within their business.”
Alan Dayeh, CR Index Manager for Australia and New Zealand, Net Balance Foundation, said: “I congratulate all participating companies for their efforts because it signifies a willingness to rise to the challenge and be part of a continued focus on responsible business in which all companies have their unique part to play.”
“We look forward to working with, supporting and challenging even more Australian and New Zealand companies to build on their achievements to date and hope that they improve their performance in this important Index against their global and UK peers.”
While the Index continues to evolve and raise the bar on what constitutes best practice in corporate responsibility and sustainability, local company involvement has declined and Net Balance Foundation is working with BITC to re-establish it in the region for the benefit of past, present and future participants. Alan shares a number of concerns:
“While over 50 companies across Australia and New Zealand have participated in the CR Index over the past 10 years, the average A&NZ results lag their global and UK peers. This should be of concern to local companies that may in fact be performing well, but do not have a credible and independent way of letting their customers and stakeholder know that they take corporate responsibility and sustainability seriously. This Index provides a unique opportunity for companies to publically profile their performance.”
“Another area of concern is that almost two thirds (60%) of global companies are excluding their Australian and New Zealand operations from the ranking. These include some high profile companies and brands (including PwC, E&Y, KPMG, Zurich, Ricoh and Siemens) that stakeholders would expect to be taking their efforts seriously, regardless of their global head office location.”
For more information contact Alan Dayeh, CR Index Manager, Australia & New Zealand, Net Balance Foundation on 02 9249 2102 or email firstname.lastname@example.org