CSR awareness among IR bosses is on the increase

Investor relations bosses are increasingly seeing the business case for corporate social responsibility, according to research published this week by CSR Europe, INSEAD business school and the Investor Relations Society.

According to the report, based on interviews with senior IR and corporate affairs staff at 20 multinational companies, 'many felt that a conscious strategy could generate competitive advantages for their companies'.

The report also praised a high awareness among IR staff of CSR issues, including an increasing importance given to environmental responsibility.

Of those interviewed, researchers were particularly impressed by Volkswagen IR director Gero Frohlich and BT IR manager Mark Smith, who are 'bringing CSR issues to the forefront of the investment world', according to the report.

Intel was also praised for going as far as placing all CSR information within its IR website, 'thus underlining the link between the two subjects'.

However, the report shows that despite these efforts, IR managers face an uphill struggle as awareness of CSR among investors remains low.

Four types of investors - mainstream, socially responsible, active mainstream such as asset management institutions, and individuals - are highlighted.

But only the 'socially responsible' group shows any real interest in CSR, according to those interviewed.

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