Within the next two years, 89% of companies in the U.S. and 62% in Europe plan to use technology to manage their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, according to a new AMR Research survey, reported by Nigel Montgomery and Derek Prior in an article last week. However, while environmental issues are of prime importance in Europe, U.S. firms seem to be ahead in the integration of CSR-related data systems.
Nearly half of U.S. companies (49%) claim to have some or fully integrated systems to provide information on CSR topics; 32% claim to have just started the integration process. Just 17% of European-based companies have fully integrated systems.
The survey of 150 companies, spanning multiple industries in the U.S., UK, Germany, and France also revealed that close to 70% of companies have a dedicated budget for CSR initiatives, with 48% of companies having a dedicated budget for environmental initiatives. This is particularly clear in Europe where respondent companies spend more of their CSR budget on environmental initiatives. And the budget allocation isn't just among large companies. The survey was evenly spread across companies of all sizes, from those with less than $100 million in revenue to those with more than $5 billion in revenue, with little variation in percentage dedicated to the initiatives because of size.
Reasons for funding of CSR initiatives were as follows:
- Customer satisfaction/loyalty
- To strengthen corporate brand and reputation
- Business opportunities (cost savings, improved profits)
- Compliance to regulatory requirements
- Moral imperative
- Board of directors pushing organization in that direction
- Competitive advantage
- Strategic risk management
- To encourage product innovation
- To elevate employee morale
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