While Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Is Increasingly a Top Driver of Stakeholder Support, Earning a Good Reputation Through CSR Has Become More Difficult With Only 11 Companies Having a Strong Score in 2017 Compared With 18 Companies in 2016
The Reputation Institute has released the main findings of its 2017 Global CSR RepTrak® 100 report, including the list of the companies considered as the most responsible worldwide. The report is based on over 170,000 ratings from interviews with the public in the 15 largest economies (United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, USA, Canada, Japan, China, India, Australia and South Korea).
The challenge of earning a good reputation for corporate social responsibility has become even more difficult, with LEGO Group and Microsoft in first and second place this year, surpassing Google, which had been at the top of the ranking for the three prior years. Microsoft and Google’s prominent rankings reflect a reputation trend across the technology industry – given that technology ranks highest in terms of corporate social responsibility in 2017, with tech firms comprising 4 of the top 10.
The Top 10 include:
- LEGO Group
- The Walt Disney Company
- BMW Group
- Robert Bosch
- Cisco Systems
- Rolls-Royce Aerospace
“There is a resurging importance of the Governance and Citizenship dimensions of CSR in 2017. The dominant drivers of CSR are defined by ethics, fairness, and societal impact,” said Stephen Hahn-Griffiths, Executive Partner and Chief Research Officer at Reputation Institute. “For an organization, having a strong CSR agenda is important, because it ensures customers will do business with you, policymakers and regulators will give you license to operate, and potential employees will be more willing to work for you. CSR is increasingly a top driver of stakeholder support. It equates to good will and good business.”
While the technology sector has a strong presence in the top rankings, some individual firms are struggling, such as Apple, which had one of the largest CSR score drops since 2016 Apple dropped to 49th. Samsung, one of Apple’s largest competitiors on the Smart Phone Market, also suffered a decline to 89th place. Some industries, such as the Financial Industry, are falling behind on all dimensions of CSR.
“The top companies with stronger CSR scores have improved in reputation and stakeholder support with CSR. They have demonstrated their leadership is actively engaged in CSR, and their commitment to the cause is driven by action not just about rhetoric”, Hahn-Griffiths said. “When an organization’s CSR agenda aligns with its corporate brand purpose, it drives higher levels of internal and external engagement.”
Volkswagen endured the steepest decline placing it just on the list in 100th place, although its emissions scandal has hardly dented its income, the brand has suffered a blow.
The full results of the 2017 Global CSR RepTrak® 100 can be found online at https://www.reputationinstitute.com/thought-leadership/csr-reptrak-100