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East Midlands Chamber News

Survey delves into CSR commitment


Companies across the East Midlands are being asked to discuss how much they give back to their communities.


Over the past decade, more and more firms have seen the benefit of engaging in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities.


Once viewed as a nice-to-have add-on to corporate activities, CSR is often now seen as fundamental to strategic policy and an aid to recruitment.


CSR takes many forms, from advocating global solutions for issues such as climate change, poverty, equal and human rights, to offering staff to work with local charities on specific projects.


A year ago, the Chamber used its Quarterly Economic Survey for the fourth quarter of 2017 to start compiling data about changing trends in CSR, including finding out how many firms were engaged in it and what they were doing.


The information gathered from that survey steered a CSR conference in February this year. Now the Chamber is repeating the exercise to see how much things have changed in a year.


Chris Hobson, Director of Policy at the Chamber, said: “There is no doubt that understanding around the value of CSR – to both local communities and the business involved – is growing and, as a result, more firms are getting involved. What we want to know is how much things have changed in the past 12 months.”


The questions about CSR have been included in the Chamber’s fourth Quarterly Economic Survey for 2018.


Firms taking part in the survey, which feeds regional information into a national survey about business success over the previous three months and expectations for the next three, will be asked whether they are currently actively involved in CSR projects or plan to be, what their plans involve and whether the CSR activities form part of their strategic plans.


Next spring, the Chamber plans to host a regional CSR conference, which will examine current practice in the region and look at ways of developing sustainable relationships between the private and charitable sectors and offer delegates help getting started with CSR.


The Chamber’s Quarterly Economic Surveys this year are being sponsored by the University of Leicester School of Business. Professor Paul Baines, Associate Dean (External Relations), University of Leicester School of Business, said: “We're delighted to sponsor the East Midlands Chamber’s Quarterly Economic Surveys and to see their focus on Corporate Social Responsibility.


“CSR is increasingly seen as important, not just for big business but also for small and mid-market companies. The results of this and future surveys will help guide entrepreneurs to do 'good' and, thereby, more sustainable business in our region.”


To take part in the Quarterly Economic Survey, visit https://bit.ly/2F5HX9j. The survey is live until 27 November.


For further information about the University of Leicester School of Business visit https://le.ac.uk/school-of-business.