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Companies spot CSR potential

Retail and consumer goods businesses are elevating the importance of corporate social responsibility and sustainability as they see the benefit to the bottom line, according to a report from the Consumer Goods Forum.

The Top of Mind report finds CSR initiatives have become the number two priority over the coming year – they were previously third – for the world’s largest retailers and consumer brands.

They beat consumer marketing and retailer and supplier relations to the second spot, with regulation only making 12th place in the list of priorities.

The forum surveyed 345 global retail and consumer goods senior executives and found CSR regained ground this year. According to Jean-Marc Saubade, managing director of CGF, they have become embedded in many organisations and will bounce back as the economy recovers.

Companies have “gone away and done the work” and are now able to see that CSR policies are “boosting the bottom line”, says Saubade.

Richard Lewis, sector analyst for CGF, told BusinessGreen.com: “There was a
bit of a backlash in 2009 when some investors asked where the financial benefits were in CSR.”

The report also found that the economic environment and consumer spending patterns will remain the top priority over the coming year.

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