Looking at more than 33,000 companies, Global CSR Risk and Performance Index, recently released by EcoVadis, found that business ethics was the most improved area in corporate social responsibility.
While information and communication technology (ICT) had the highest scoring industry in this theme (45.2). Companies across all categories made a marked improvement in business ethics (global score of 41.2), especially in fighting corruption and bribery and information security issues.
“The global progress in business ethics and information security is an optimistic indicator that businesses recognize the importance of data protection and are becoming more aware of security risks that could impact operations," said Pierre-Francois Thaler, Co-CEO of EcoVadis. "The positive trajectory, especially in the ICT industry, is likely a byproduct of the GDPR legislation established in the European Union, and shows organizations are prioritizing digital responsibility.”
From a global perspective, European companies consistently outperformed other regions across all four themes, with large companies scoring 49.5 and small and medium businesses 48.4. In comparison, large North American companies scored 40.8 and small and medium businesses 44.3.
The index examines organizations across nine industry divisions: light, heavy, and advanced manufacturing, food and beverage, construction, wholesale, transport, information and communication technology (ICT), and finance, legal and consulting. The index was built using EcoVadis scores, which are based on 21 CSR criteria across four themes: environment, labor practices and human rights, business ethics and sustainable procurement.
Here is a look at some other categories from the report:
-- Global environmental performance dipped slightly, from 45.4 to 45 overall. Small and medium food and beverage companies (43.9) and large advanced manufacturing companies (49.6) were top performers in the environmental category.
·--Labor practices and human rights initiatives are still going strong. Small and medium food and beverage companies (47.7) and large ICT companies (43.3) were the highest performers in this theme.
-- Sustainable procurement practices need more attention. Small and medium food and beverage companies were top performers in sustainable procurement practices (42.1), but overall this theme lagged behind in performance, posing risks for industries across the board.
Top performing industries are adopting best practices and regularly measuring progress: ·
-Small and medium-sized food and beverage companies were the best scoring division globally, with an overall CSR score of 46.8.
- Advanced manufacturing companies were performance leaders for the large size group with an overall score of 44.2.