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CSR trends and realities in Romania

2013 Edition

About the survey
CSR trends and realities in Romania explores and analyzes the perception of executives and specialists in CSR (corporate social responsibility); the survey is related to both initiated and ongoing projects during 2012, but also to the CSR perspectives in the next period.
The study was undertaken during 10 April – 10 May 2013. The report analysis the answers of 77 top executives from the local business segment and CSR specialists to 28 questions. The respondents are mainly companies already involved in CSR activities; for this reason we believe the study is useful in offering answers to companies thinking about the opportunity of starting CSR activities and want to understand their impact at a strategic level as well as their benefits.

Objectives
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Approach
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What is the current situation of the Romanian CSR sector? What are the CSR trends in Romania? What is the role of the CEO, CFO and other Csuites in developing CSR programs and why is it important for the company to undertake CSR initiatives? What is the role of the CSR team in the strategic positioning of the company through CSR efforts?

Quantitative and qualitative analysis of the answers received from the respondents. Global and European indicators of CSR trends for a comparative data analysis.

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Romanian CSR/SR SWOT analysis
Source: National Strategy for promoting social responsibility 2011-2016, Ernst & Young

Strengths

Weaknesses
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The companies interest in CSR/SR and the relative novelty of this concept for the Romanian public Involvement of multinationals and other national companies in CSR initiatives The ongoing growth of the number of CSR/SR initiatives and best practices in this field nationwide The growing number of consumers interested in the products and services produced by social responsible companies

The concept of CSR is little known in the Romanian society The absence of studies on the popularity and applicability of CSR/SR initiatives in Romania Some SMEs are not yet convinced of the relevance of CSR initiatives Target audiences do not have an appropriate understanding regarding the capacity of CSR programs to represent and work in their best interest

Opportunities
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Threats
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Dynamics of CSR/SR at an European and global level Opportunity to learn, take on or adapt best practices from the experience of more developed states Increase in reputation for the companies involved in CSR efforts EU financing opportunities for CSR initiatives Positive attitude of consumers towards companies involved in the society/community

Lack of coherent public policies promoting CSR/SR Lack of a coherent and consistent legal framework Difficulties in applying the legislation Risk of exclusion/restricted access of Romanian companies on certain markets Insufficient support and involvement of public authorities in promoting and applying CSR/SR Lack of state budget funds dedicated for promoting CSR/SR programs

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Why do C-suits (CEOs, COOs, CFOs) need to involve in CSR? What is the impact of CSR on revenues?
In just 10 years, CSR has entered the agenda of the C-suite, since investors and consumers, along side activists, also started to take interest in CSR. Company executives and board members are directly involved in structuring the company’s CSR strategy, as the economic argument for CSR becomes stronger. Therefore, the CSR activity has turned from a marketing function into one that is now put into practice by the Administration Council and the C-suites.

1 Positive effect on Return
It is already accepted in western economies that social, corporate governance and environmental programs create value for shareholders. Multiple CSR studies highlight the importance of CSR for companies’ reputation. Pulse Survey Reputation Institute shows that the CSR efforts are responsible for no less than 40% of a company’s reputation, having a significant effect on the company's financial returns. 60% of the top executives and Administration Council members that responded to the Global RepTrak 2013 survey had stated this, while 79% consider that we are now in a reputation based economy.

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CSR reporting, from optional to vital

Companies understand the fact that CSR is no longer just a footnote in the company’s annual reports and thus, an increasing number of companies report CSR related activities. If in 1999 only 639 companies reported CSR initiatives, in 2010 their number exceeded 5.600, according to CorporateRegister.com. At the same time, the European Commission had published in April 2013 a legislative proposal that will compel companies with more than 500 employees to annuallypublish information regarding their social and environmental impact and employees rights. Global Reporting Initiative’s Readers Choice study shows that 55% of CSR reports readers had used such reports in taking their purchasing decisions, 45% in their investing decisions, 34% in establishing partnerships and 32% in recruiting processes.

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Why do C-suits (CEOs, COOs, CFOs) need to involve in CSR? What is the impact of CSR on revenues?
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Inclusion of CSR strategies in the companies business model is on a rise. After the full development of the company’s CSR strategy, the next natural step is to include it in the business model. In some countries, companies financial reports already require CSR efforts. Competitive advantage and differentiation: CSR increases the company’s competitiveness, in an economy where consumers and corporate clients take buying decisions based on how social responsible are the companies from which they purchase products or services. 16% of American consumers are strongly inclined towards sustainability, while 66% have ecologist intentions (according to OgilvyEarth). Surely, in the next years CSR will also increase its significance in the buying decisions of Romanian consumers. Supply chain pressures: For many years, companies have been putting pressure on suppliers to deliver better and cheaper products, but now it is also important how well they respect sustainability principles. Retention and motivation of employees: With the increase of social involvement of companies, employees are more motivated. According to Society for Human Resources Management, employees from companies with strong CSR campaigns are 55% more motivated than the ones from companies with little CSR involvement, business processes are more efficient with 43%, public image 43% stronger, and employees commitment 38% higher. High employment attractiveness: Last but not least, employees become increasingly more alert to social responsible efforts of their employer. 88% of graduates and young professionals take into account the CSR position of the company, and 85% of these would consider leaving the company drops its CSR position. Responsibility towards the community : If a company abuses the resources and trust of a community, it is very likely that the development rhythm of the community will decrease, having a negative impact over the financial results of the company.

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Top 5 conclusions of the study

CSR increasingly shapes-up in Romania, already 78% of the respondents have stated that the company they represent have a CSR strategy, while 67% of them believe that the CSR interest will increase in the next 12 months. On the other side, the average value of a project is yet small, 66% of the projects realized by Romanian companies do not exceed EUR 10.000, these being equally divided between projects lower than EUR 5.000 and over EUR 5.000, but under EUR 10.000.

Top 5 conclusions

At the same time, more than 3/4 of the Romanian companies have an annual budget dedicated to CSR activities. Out of these, half consider that the budget has maintained its level in 2013 compared to 2012, while only 16% had noticed an increase between 5-10%.
An overwhelming proportion (92%) of the interviewed companies involve their employees in CSR projects, which means that we have excellently acquired this CSR principle.

Most of the surveyed companies have defined CSR through actions with social/health/education character (47%), less tangible actions that are a new focus in the western CSR, like business ethics and corporate civic responsibility are placed on the next two positions (24% and 18%).

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Even if CSR involvement was a practice initiated by subsidiaries of multinational companies, as part of their values, this is no longer an abstract concept for Romanian companies. The next step now is that it becomes a strategic area for as many Romanian private companies and public institutions as possible. The fact that 82% of the surveyed companies have their leaders actively involved in CSR efforts, clearly shows the importance they assign to corporate social responsibility.

Bogdan Ion, Country Managing Partner Ernst & Young Romania & Moldova

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How did the interest for CSR evolved in the last 12 months?
(single answer)

Question 1

80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Grew
Total respondents: 60 (skipped this question: 17)

67%

30%

3%

Stayed the same

Decreased

A significant part of respondents (67%), consider that the interest for CSR has increased in the last 12 months, while 30% consider that it has remained the same. Just 3% see the interest for CSR as decreasing in this period.

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Why get involved in CSR?
(multiple answer)

Question 2

Recognition and visibility It's part of our strategy on public relations Our shareholders request the involvement We are obliged by company policy It increases the financial value of the company Promoting products and services 0
Total respondents: 53 (skipped this question: 24)

33 31 11 9 8 7 5 10 15 20 25 30 35

As reasons for CSR involvement, the majority has answered: recognition and visibility (33 companies) and because CSR initiatives are part of the strategy on public relations (31). A lot of CSR tops, such as Pulse Survey of Reputation Institute, show that CSR efforts are responsible for no less than 40% of the company’s reputation, which represents a very powerful motivation for involving in these type of projects and communicating them. In Global RepTrak 100 2013, 60% of top executives and board members who responded to the survey think that reputation has a big impact on the company’s financial results, while 79% say that we run in a reputation based economy.

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Which option do you consider is best suited to define social responsibility?
(single answer)

Question 3

Support for social/environment/health/education initiatives

47%

Business ethics

24%

Form of corporate civic

18%

Way to create stable and profitable business relationships for all involved parties

10%

Way to promote the company's image

1%

0%
Total respondents: 71 (skipped this question: 6)

5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50%

Most companies (47%) define CSR as actions with social/environment/educational character, followed by business ethics with 24% and corporate civic responsibility with 18%, the least of them defining it as a way of promoting the company's image.

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CSR budget

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Do you have a dedicated budget for CSR?
(single answer)

Question 4

No 24%

Yes

No

Yes 76%

Total respondents: 63 (skipped this question: 14)

76% of respondents affirmed that they have a dedicated budget for CSR, while 24% responded negatively at this question.

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What is the evolution of CSR budgets in 2013 compared to 2012?
(single answer)

Question 5
60% 51% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 0% Increases between 5-10% Increases Increases Decreases between 20-30% between 10-20% between 20-30% Decreases between 5-10% Decreases between 10-20%

16% 11% 9% 7% 3% 3%

Total respondents: 57 (skipped this question: 20)

For half of the companies there is a stagnation in CSR budgets in 2013 compared to 2012, while 36% of them dispose of increased budgets, and 13% have reduced their budgets this year.

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What is the evolution of CSR budgets in 2013 compared to 2012?
(single answer)

Question 5(a) – Depending on revenues from the surveyed companies:
Increases between 2030% Increases between 1020% Increases between 5-10% 0% Decreases between 5-10% Decreases between 1020% Decreases between 2030% 0%
Total respondents: 57 (skipped this question: 20)

67% 25% 25% 33% 50% 50% 25% 10% 20% 30% 25% 40% 50% 10-50M EUR 60% 70% 25% 25% 17% 38%

17% 50%

17%

13% 46% 50% 50% 50% 80% 90% 100% 4%

More than 100M EUR

50-100M EUR

1-10M EUR

Less than 1M EUR

Results show that the highest increases in CSR budgets in 2013 compared to 2012 were for companies with revenues higher than EUR 100mn, while the largest cuts in CSR budgets in 2013 were for companies with revenues of EUR 1-10mn.

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What is the evolution of CSR budgets in 2013 compared to 2012?
(single answer)

Question 5(b) – Depending on revenues from the surveyed companies:
Increases between 2030% Increases between 1020% Increases between 510% 0% Decreases between 510% Decreases between 1020% Decreases between 2030% 0

25% 60% 13% 11% 13% 11% 11% 50% 50% 20% 0.1 0.2 0.3 13%

25% 20% 25% 11% 21% 5%

50% 20% 25% 21% 50% 50% 60% 20% 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1 13% 5% 5%

0.4

0.5

Total respondents: 57 (skipped this question: 20)

Services Energy and mining The pharmaceutical industry and health Telecom/IT/Media

Retail trade and en gros The food industry Producing industry

Construction and real estate Chemical Industry Banking and financial services

As it can be observed, the largest increases of CSR budgets in 2013 compared to 2012 are for the Telecom/IT/Media companies, while the largest cuts in CSR budgets in 2013 are made by energy and mining companies.

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The role of top management and CSR strategy

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Leaders of your organization are actively involved in promoting CSR within and outside the company?
(single answer)

Question 6

No 18%

Yes No

Yes 82%

Total respondents: 62 (skipped this question: 15)

To an impressively large extent (82% of respondents), leaders of organizations are actively involved in promoting CSR both within and outside the company.

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Is there a CSR committee at top management level?
(single answer)

Question 7

Yes 45% No 55%

No Yes

Total respondents: 62 (skipped this question: 15)

Regarding the involvement of top management in defining a CSR strategy and carrying-out the projects, 45% of the companies already have a CSR committee involvement at top management level, while 55% responded negatively to this question.

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Do you have a policy/strategy dedicated to corporate social responsibility?
(single answer)

Question 8

No 22%

Yes

No

Yes 78%

Total respondents: 65 (skipped this question: 12)

The majority of companies (78%) already have a policy/strategy dedicated to CSR, while 22% do not have such a strategy. The natural step after defining a strategy is aligning it with the company's business plan. 1/3 of U.S.A, companies with 100-5000 employees already have a fully-grown and integrated CSR strategy in the business model, according to Business4Better Survey 2013.

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The CSR involvement of your company is a direct consequence of the company's values ​and principles?
(single answer)

Question 9

No 10%

Yes No

Yes 90%

Total respondents: 59 (skipped this question: 18)

For 90% of the respondents, involvement in CSR activities represents a direct consequence of the company’s values and principles, compared to 10% who responded negatively to this. In contrast, for 67% of the companies who responded at the Mercer Global Survey on CSR 2013 CSR/sustainability is part of their base values.

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Does your company measure the impact its involvement in community has on the company and community?
(single answer)

Question 10

No 35% Yes

No
Yes 65%

Total respondents: 60 (skipped this question: 17)

More than half of the respondents had stated the existence of indicators / KPIs that measure the effect their CSR projects have on community.

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Did your company communicated or published reports on the activity and involvement in CSR?
(single answer)

Question 11

No 37% Yes No Yes 63%

Total respondents: 62 (skipped this question: 15)

63% of the companies have published reports or press releases regarding activities and involvement in CSR, while 37% have responded negatively to this. The most recent barometer published by Grayling PULSE shows that less than one third (28%) of companies that have a CSR strategy have integrated it in the corporate communication strategy. This is in spite of the fact that the same companies consider CSR projects to have the greatest impact on the reputation of the company (30% of the respondents), followed at a great distance by the impact on relationships with employees (17,7%).

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CSR Projects 2012

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Is your company involved in corporate social responsibility projects?
(single answer)

Question 12

No 14%

Yes No

Yes 86%

Total respondents: 69 (skipped this question: 8)

86% of the respondent companies are involved in corporate social responsibility projects. This decision is also supported by the Penn Schoen Berland report, consumers beginning to see CSR as a quality that adds to the value of their commercial products. This survey indicates that 70% of the consumers are willing to pay more for products with “social responsibility”.

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How many projects have you run in 2012?
(single answer)

Question 13

6,6
Total respondents: 59 (skipped this question: 18)

projects

In 2012, companies have developed in average 6,6 CSR projects, with a median of 5 projects. But there are companies who go beyond the number of 10 projects, while most of the companies have developed 2 CSR projects in 2012.

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What is the average value of a CSR project developed by your company?
(single answer)

Question 14

until 5.000 EUR

34%

between 5.000-10.000 EUR

32%

between 10.000-50.000 EUR

20%

between100.000- 200.000 EUR

9%

between 50.000-100.000 EUR

3%

more than 500.000 EUR 0%
Total respondents: 56 (skipped this question: 21)

2% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40%

86% of the companies have CSR projects who do not exceed a budget of EUR 50.000. 34% of the respondents state that the average value of a project is no greater than EUR 5.000, 32% have projects between EUR 5.000-10.000, while only 2% said that their average value exceeds EUR 500.000.

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What sectors of the community do you target for intervention and support?
(multiple answer)

Question15
30% 25% 25%

20%
15%

18%

17%

16% 10%

Education Health Social 8% 5% Environment Sports 1% Culture Entrepreneurship Other

10% 5% 0%

Total respondents: 63 (skipped this question: 14)

Most companies focus their CSR projects (25%) on education. This is followed by a similar level of interest for health (18%), social problems (17%) and the environment (16%). Compared to studies from Romania, the Business4Better 2013 survey shows an interest of 60% of American companies with employers between 100-5.000 for the education sector.

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At what level are or were your projects developed by your company?
(multiple answer)

Question 16

National

34%

At the community level

21%

Local

21%

Regional

13%

In all the community in which we operate

11%

0%
Total respondents: 58 (skipped this question: 19)

5%

10%

15%

20%

25%

30%

35%

40%

Companies have very ambitious CSR strategies, the largest number of CSR projects being focused at a national level (34%) and less at a community or local level. This is contrary to the Business4Better survey, which shows that companies mostly invest in local initiatives and are focused on communities.

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Your company is contributing to community by:
(multiple answer)

Question 17

Donations in cash Volunteering Donations in kind (books, use of space, active loans) Socially responsible business practices In another way 0% 1% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 18%

28% 27%
26%

30%

Total respondents: 60 (skipped this question: 17)

The majority of companies offer support: in cash donations 28%, volunteering 27% and donations in kind 26%, less being focused in socially responsible business practices 18%. In regard to volunteering, almost 40% of the companies surveyed by Business4Better support this practice by offering free time to employers in change of volunteering. Also, more then 30% of these companies are contributing to community by offering pro bono services.

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What kind of institutions do you collaborate with to implement CSR projects?
(multiple answer)

Question 18

60 54 50 40 30 20 10 0 NGO
Total respondents: 61 (skipped this question: 16)

35

5

4

Authorities local/central

No collaborations

Other

In terms of collaboration with different institutions 54% of the companies prefer NGOs, while 36% work with local/central authorities. There are also companies (5%) that prefer to undertake projects independently.

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CSR team and the role of employees

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Do you have a person/team dedicated to CSR projects?
(single answer)

Question 19

No 29% Yes No Yes 71%

Total respondents: 62 (skipped this question: 15)

71% of respondents have a person or a team dedicated to CSR projects, unlike 29% of the respondents who answered negatively to this question. The same percent is reached by companies from the Business4Better survey, in which a third of the respondents have a person responsible for CSR efforts in the marketing and HR department.

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How many persons are part of your CSR team?
(single answer)

Question 20

2,6
Total respondents: 50 (skipped this question: 27)

persons

In regards to the number of persons involved in the CSR team, they are on average 2,6 per company (full time employees).

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Do you organize internal trainings with topics covering corporate social responsibility?
(single answer)

Question 21

Yes 30% Yes No No 70%

Total respondents: 60 (skipped this question: 17)

70% of the respondents do not organize internal trainings with topics covering corporate social responsibility.

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Do you have an internal process for identifying relevant CSR themes for the company?
(single answer)

Question 22

No 40% Yes No Yes 60%

Total respondents: 62 (skipped this question: 15)

In regards to the process of establishing a CSR strategy, most of the companies (60%) already have an internal process for identifying relevant CSR themes, while 40% do not have such a process.

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Do you involve employees in CSR activities undertaken by the company?
(single answer)

Question 23

No 8%

Yes No

Yes 92%

Total respondents: 61 (skipped this question: 16)

An overwhelming majority, 92% of the companies, involve their employees in CSR activities. This means that Romanians companies have understood that their employees are more motivated if the company is actively involved in CSR projects. It is generally accepted that CSR projects have a significant impact in motivation, development and the retention of the employees. In addition, the Society for Human Resources Management has compared companies with strong sustainability programs to those with less relevant campaigns and found that employees of the first type of companies have a 55% higher moral, the company’s image is 43% better, and employees’ loyality is higher by 38% compared to companies from the second category.

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Demographics
The results of this study reflect the responses of 77 top executives and CSR professionals from companies operating in Romania, received between 10 April and 10 May 2013.

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Demographics
The shareholding structure of companies :
70% 64% 60%

Locations:

50%

25%

40%

Bucharest/Ilfov Other location

30%

25%
20% 11% 10% 75%

0% Worldwide Romanian Mixed

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Demographics
The industries in which the companies that responded to the survey operate in:
Manufacturing industry Banking and financial services The food industry Other services Retail trade and en gros The pharmaceutical industry and health Telecom/media 7% 15% 5% 5% 5% 2% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 10% 5% 0% 50-100M EUR 10-50M EUR 1-10M EUR Less than 1M EUR 9% 17% 22% 35% 30% 25% 20% 18%

Income distribution of the surveyed companies :
40% 36%

15%
13% 10%

Construction and real estate
Energy and mining Chemical Industry

2%

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Demographics
Positions held in the company by people who responded to the survey:

Marketing Specialist

30%

Member of the Board's

28%

CSR Specialist

27%

CEO/President / Director General

13%

Human Resources Specialist

2%

0%

5%

10%

15%

20%

25%

30%

35%

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Project team

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Project team
Ernst & Young Romania CSRMedia.ro Lacrămioara Botezatu
Project Manager CSRMedia.ro lacramioara@csrmedia.ro

Elena Badea
Head of Market Enablement Ernst & Young Romania

elena.badea@ro.ey.com

Mihaela Matei
Special Projects Communication Officer Ernst & Young Romania
mihaela.matei@ro.ey.com

George Carpov
Consultant CSRMedia.ro george@csrmedia.ro

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Testimonials

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Testimonials

Elena Badea
Head of Market Enablement Ernst & Young Romania
Corporate responsibility is turning from a marginal phenomenon into one that is mainstream. The way companies respond to society’s expectations becomes more sophisticated, while on the market thought agenda is entering a new generation of CSR concepts (CSR 2.0). We expect corporate responsibility to become a profession taught and studied in schools and universities. Beyond these trends, however, CSR remains primarily an endeavor based on passion, that should be included in the communication strategy and current corporate communication, as well as in the business strategy. Because the executives and Board members are those who best understand the context of the company, they are the ones that greatly influence the launching and implementation of CSR efforts.

George Carpov
Consultant CSRMedia.ro
This study comes in the benefit of all the decision factors in companies, since Corporate Social Responsibility is gradually becoming an important component of the business strategy. This is no longer strictly a matter for one person (or department) but extends to leaders at all levels, while increasing the importance of dialogue with both internal and external stakeholders of the company. We're basically talking about companies adopting a socially responsible business model both to its own employees as well as to partners, customers, authorities and communities. We are witnessing a period in which a company is not only measured by profits but also by the ways in which a portion of this returns to society, other than in the form of taxes.

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Testimonials
Ruxandra Vodă
Corporate Affairs Senior Manager COSMOTE Romania
Social responsibility is an integral part of the business plan of many companies operating in the Romanian market, some of these projects becoming more and more frequent and involving more audiences. Social responsibility initiatives have gained momentum over the years and also the credibility of working for well defined causes, aspects that influence the level of general involvement of society customers, partners, employees, etc.

Adina Ionescu
PR & Brand Builder MOL Romania

Far from being a simple exercise to improve the image of a company, corporate social responsibility programs are an indispensable and efficient instrument. For a long term profitable business, community involvement is required. Large corporations operating in Romania are already running viable social responsibility programs and understand the role of fiscal levers provided by authorities in this regard. Still, there is one more step to take: profitable small and midsize companies to follow the same model, strengthening their business for the medium and long term. In addition, since the philanthropic and emotional causes of NGOs are real and important, they can be supported by the private sector not only by financial resources but also by a quality transfer of knowledge.

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Testimonials
Cătălin Creţu
Director General Visa Europe, Romania

Visa Europe runs CSR activities in most markets in Europe, together with strategic partners, both international and local. For us, a relevant CSR program is through strong partnerships with other players in the market, but also with the authorities. A powerful CSR project is one that serves the interests of all those involved in the project from the community to the companies, from the environment to the authorities. They all must have the same common vision to transform for the better and on the long term the environment in which they coexist.

Costinela Dragan
PR & CSR Coordinator Rompetrol Group

The study was necessary given that the market has a lot of potential, and companies have understood the importance of investing in the sustainability of the business and have begun integrating CSR into their development strategy. Of course, I refer to CSR in all its forms - substantial investments in environmental protection, human resource development, human rights, anti-corruption policies, helping the local communities. The analysis performed by EY offers, on the one hand, an overview of projects and programs in Romania, but also an useful tool for self-assessment and positioning for companies in relation to other stakeholders.

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We intend to conduct this survey every year. We hope for your support!

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