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« What is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)? | Main | Measuring Sustainability & Social Impact »

Do CSR Reports Really Tell Us Anything About Businesses' Social Impact?

Grahm Randies
The Guardian Profesional, October 2013

As anyone involved in the world of corporate social responsibility reporting can tell you, the world is awash with CSR reports these days.

Some of them are really good. Many are really long. Some people even read them. But do any of them they tell us anything about the change that all of these important initiatives create?

Before I go into the detail on how we understand and measure the change created by CSR initiatives, let me just say that there are perhaps not as many reports out there as it might seem. Sources estimate that 90% of large companies are now reporting on CSR, but this typically means companies with turnover of more than £100bn. Below that threshold corporate reporting on CSR and sustainability is still considered to be weak.

However, if we focus on the reports that these big companies produce there is one thing they are not short of: numbers. Bigger is of course better, although it's not always the biggest companies that provide the biggest numbers.

In short the reporting of CSR initiatives needs to go beyond what has been gathered to date, moving from "what happened?" to "what changed?" Read more…

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