Corporate responsibility has changed considerably during the past few years. The interpretation, treatment and target groups of corporate responsibility still vary among the companies.
Although most companies surveyed maintain some form of a sustainability or corporate responsibility programme, this is still not a determining factor in companies’ long-term business strategies and missions. Structured CR programmes and medium-term visions are primarily present in companies that are engaged in any of the polluting industries, such as the automotive or energy industry, or an industry with CR as a specific feature, e.g. the telecommunications sector. Some larger providers of financial services have also adopted a stronger CR approach during the past few years. This is not surprising as the economic crisis and the consequential lack of trust mainly hit companies operating in this sector.
To resolve the contradiction that companies’ CR activities might imply, the usual question arises: What drives CR activities? For almost all companies, the key drivers are responsible management, executives’ commitment and leading by personal example, however, nearly 50 per cent of the respondents mention company reputation, and CR as a tool to strengthen employees’ and customers’ loyalty.