Survey highlights the benefits of CSR

CSR, corporate social responsibility

Engagement with corporate social responsibility brings business benefits according to 51% of electro-technical businesses that responded to a survey carried out by the Electrical Contractors’ Association and the Considerate Constructors Scheme. 67% of respondents highlighted ‘improved customer or client relationships’ as another business benefit of CSR work. ‘Positive media coverage (41%), ‘cost savings’ (30%) and the ‘ability to manage risk in the supply chain’ (28%) were also listed as significant benefits of CSR engagement.

45% of those businesses currently engaging with CSR said they measured health-and-safety outcomes, while 39% monitored environmental impacts to help assess their success.

ECA director of business Paul Reeve commented, ‘These new findings highlight the key role of CSR in helping a business to retain and recruit staff, improve relationships with clients, and achieve process changes and cost savings.

‘Increasingly, companies that are communicating effectively with their key stakeholders, and delivering social and environmental value, are seeing direct — in addition to indirect — business benefits.’

Considerate Constructors Scheme chief executive Edward Hardy added, ‘It is very encouraging to see that over half of survey respondents are realising the benefits of CSR across their organisation. There is, however, much more to be done in achieving greater engagement throughout construction and its related industries.

‘We must continue to work together to raise standards to ensure that every organisation is fully engaged with CSR. This can be achieved through registration with the Considerate Constructors Scheme, which clearly demonstrates how an organisation is proving commitment to CSR for the benefit of the workforce, the local community and the environment.’

Although many respondents cited business benefits, CSR requires knowledge and resources. 50% of businesses claimed that, for them, developing CSR initiatives was 'too time consuming'. Respondents also cited 'lack of knowledge' (43%), 'financial constraints' (20%) and a 'lack of guidance' (32%) as barriers to engaging with CSR.

The survey was completed by almost 150 ECA members.

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