Report shows MPs have doubts over CSR

Labour MPs are more sceptical of companies' commitment to CSR than their Tory counterparts, according to a report published this week.

WPP-owned corporate research firm BPRI surveyed 100 backbench MPs for the study, and found 76 per cent of Labour MPs thought that companies have not wholly adopted the principles of CSR, while 67 per cent of Conservative MPs said they thought that companies had adopted CSR very or fairly well.

The study provides an insight into MPs' thoughts on CSR and the impact that it can have on company brand value.

Eighty per cent of MPs across party lines warned that brand value can be badly eroded if companies fail to meet CSR commitments.

And when asked, only four out of ten MPs could name a company known to run CSR programmes.

One MP said: 'I'm unaware of any examples of good CSR, but am aware of companies with bad CSR records.'

Others point to a lack of real investment in CSR. One commented: 'There is a minority who have absorbed CSR into the fabric of the company, but the majority either pay lip service or do nothing more than comply with their legal requirements.'

The report, compiled by BPRI director David Burton, suggests that companies still have a long way to go in convincing MPs of their ongoing commitment to being socially responsible.

Figures show MPs cited the Co-operative Bank, BT and BP as leaders in the field of CSR, while the Body Shop and Shell only gained six and five per cent of mentions respectively.

Burton said: 'As far as MPs are concerned, companies have yet to fully embrace their responsibilities in this area and effectively communicate their activities to stakeholders.'

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