BITC unveils index rating top firms' diligence status

A benchmarking system aiming to compare the corporate responsibility achievements of Britain's major companies' has been launched by Business in the Community.

More than 500 firms, including all FTSE 350 companies, have been invited to take part in BITC's Corporate Responsibility Index, which has been set up with the endorsement of the groups such as the DTI, the CBI and the Accounting Standards Board.

Rather than providing a league table of corporate responsibility scores, the index aims to classify companies in a series of groups and grade them according to their achievements.

Importantly, the National Association of Pension Funds has given the index its backing and says it plans to use the index as part of its Voting Issues Service, which helps give pension funds guidance on voting at company AGMs.

The index will be worldwide in scope as companies will be measured according to their global standards.

The deadline for entering the index, which will take the form of an online survey, is 15 November and the index will then be published next March.

Last autumn Business in the Community's PerCent Club, which was set up to enable companies to demonstrate social investment had shown a 50 per cent increase in investment over the last four years.

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