CSR report finds corporate 'transparency' is key

NEW YORK: Transparency about business operations, goals, and employee treatment are a key indication of a socially responsible company according to a new report from Edelman and other partners.

NEW YORK: Transparency about business operations, goals, and employee treatment are a key indication of a socially responsible company according to a new report from Edelman and other partners.

The report, entitled “Corporate responsibility and sustainability communications: Who's listening? Who's leading? What matters most?” was developed by Edelman, the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, international nonprofit Net Impact, and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

A key finding of the report is that transparency is important to all manner of stakeholders, including investors.

“People want the company to be the most credible source of information about the good, the bad, and the ugly of [its] own conduct and through that, [it] will be more trusted,” said Chris Deri, EVP and global practice leader for Edelman CSR and sustainability.

The report also found that stakeholders expect companies to lead in various issues, such as climate change, and that employees, prospective employees, and socially responsible investors are important audiences for communicators.

“It provides data with which to make their case within their organizations,” said Deri.

The report findings are based on a global survey of Net Impact members, 3,100 international opinion leaders, as well as interviews with NGO, Fortune 500 executives, the media, and others.

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