Firms' CSR work fails to excite public

Two-thirds of the public believe business devotes too little attention to social responsibility - but just ten per cent admit they are 'very interested' in hearing about firms' CSR.

The finding was revealed in Ipsos MORI research for Vodafone, presented this Wednesday by Aileen Thompson, the mobile firm's director of group consumer, enterprise and brand media relations.

Speaking at the CIPR national conference in London, she said a further 29 per cent of people were ‘fairly interested' in hearing about CSR.

Thompson told delegates that it was nonetheless ‘fundamental to embed corporate responsibility commitments in businesses'.

‘At Vodafone we are proud of our corporate social responsibility record - particularly given the fact that we are in a relatively young industry and have only really been talking about these issues for the past five years,' she said.

She added: ‘But we still envy the public recognition achieved by companies such as BT for their work in this area, and the public perception of initiatives such as Tesco's Computers for Schools.

‘Our work with The National Autistic Society, for example, doesn't have that recognition. Clearly we still have lessons to learn.'

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