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Online CSR Awards ‘Global Leaders’ 2009

Milan - 4 November 2009

The rationale behind the research
• • • Corporate website has emerged as most important vehicle for CSR communications But public distrust has been generated by too much ‘greenwash’ and exploitation of CSR for purely PR goals Need for a communications model that goes beyond the CSR report and a way to measure the efficacy of messages on the corporate website Importance of reputation as intangible value of CSR The “leaders’ dilemma”: how do I distinguish my genuine, integrated and committed CSR programme from those who are just making empty proclamations?

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CSR communications from global leaders
• We studied the best companies in CSR globally to assess the quality of their online CSR communications, discover strengths and weaknesses and gather a database of best practice examples
• The study evaluated how well 91 members of the DJSI use their corporate websites as a platform for CSR communication • Also country rankings in Italy, Switzerland, UK and Germany

A total of 76 criteria were used, divided into 18 sections and giving a total of 100 points
• The analysis included both CSR content and online presentation • The criteria were developed on the basis of a survey of CSR professionals and sector experts

Criteria founded on users’ point of view
• 184 people answered the online survey
• 30 nationalities were represented • A wide range of professional categories included • Respondents had many years of experience in CSR

• They said they regularly search for information about CSR online – seven out of 10 at least several times a week

Main findings of the user survey
• CSR is seen to have gained public attention during the financial crisis • Corporate websites considered a key source of information • Priority content includes
• CSR report • Code of ethics • Environmental data

• Corporate governance viewed as core component of CSRrelated information

• 91 companies chosen on the basis of membership of the Dow Jones Sustainability World 80 Index, plus 2008-09 supersector leaders • 100 points maximum from 76 criteria, divided into 18 sections • The analysis included both CSR content (10 sections totalling 61.5 points) and online presentation (seven sections totalling 37.5 points) • English language version of corporate websites assessed by Lundquist in April-July 2009 • Assessments restricted to the CSR (or equivalent) section of the website and to content directly linked from section • Contents of CSR reports excluded except whenever a direct, specific link was provided to the relevant page or pages

Top-performing sections related to disclosure and reporting
% on maximum score (CSR Online Awards 'Global leaders')
0% Overview CSR policy Reporting Environment Community SRI Human resources Conventions & awards News & events CSR resources Staff and contacts WEB 22% 18% 18% 60% 30% 59% 56% 58% 10% 20% 30% 40% 39% 45% 60% 68% 50% 60% 70% 80%

Industries with environmental impact lead

Europe outperforms US
• Result may be explained by the attention European companies give to corporate websites, while US focus is more commercial • US companies more oriented to communication of community commitment, providing news releases and integrating technological features • In Europe, and especially the UK, the approach is more rounded with companies focusing in an integrated way on the various aspects of CSR

Most companies provide key information
•Average score of
• 60% for reporting section • 60% for report format • 83% for report archives • 89% for code of ethics • 68% for environmental data • 53% for environmental management system


Still in offline mode of communications
Average score for the interactivity section was 20% 12% was the average score for providing details of a profile from an SRI ratings company Average score of 18% for staff and contact information 44% of companies don’t define their stakeholders

Only half of companies publishes CSRrelated news

13% was scored on average for showing how CSR staff fit into the organisation chart

91% don’t publish CSR events

55% don’t give CSR targets of any kind

62% don’t present CSR hot topics for the company

Practical test unveils dead-end of feedback

Assumptions and recommendations of the research

Comprehensive Integrated Open User friendly Engaging Concrete






Thank you

James Osborne