UK and Netherlands lead Europe as CSR increases

The UK and The Netherlands are leading the way for corporate social responsibility, according to a report on CSR uptake across Europe.

Both regions are hailed for their strong CSR profile in a study by CSR Europe, entitled The Campaign Report on European CSR Excellence 2002-2003.

But the report also found that CSR is not just a northern European phenomenon.

Eastern and central Europe, Spain and Italy are shown to be increasingly employing CSR initiatives, revealing a growing dedication to social reporting in countries hoping to join the EU.

Published as the annual report of the European Business Campaign 2005 on CSR, the research compares CSR activities of 17 European countries, based on seven criteria.

Countries are compared according to indicators, such as social awards, social-reporting guidelines and voluntary codes of conduct.

Brussels-based CSR Europe comms director Catelije Wessels said: 'This report maps out what there is in terms of CSR in Europe.

'We felt there was a need to look at European best practices and put them in perspective by including them on an overall map.'

Wessels added the study shows increasing CSR activity, but no common ground on guidelines or legislation.

The study, which is available online at, will be expanded on an annual basis.

Coinciding with the release of the report, The Guardian this week published its annual Giving List, ranking FTSE 100 firms according to their social responsibility based on their corporate donations.

The list unveils an overall increase of corporate giving, up from 0.4 per cent of pre-tax profits last year to 0.95 per cent - although this rise is partly accountable by falling profits and the inclusion of global figures.

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