The telecoms expert took home the award for Best Report at the second annual Corporate Responsibility Reporting Awards, organised by CorporateRegister.com.
The company also won awards for Relevance and Materiality, and Credibility through Assurance.
The awards are designed to recognise the importance corporate social responsibility reporting plays in business communication.
Amanda Jordan, chair and founding director of Bell Pottinger’s CSR agency Corporate Citizenship, said: ‘An increasing number of the FTSE 250, private firms and other companies report in some way on these issues.’
The number of reports published overall has leapt from 2,500 in 2007 to more than 3,100 in 2008. However, experts warn that the future of CSR reporting could be under threat in the current economic climate.
CorporateRegister.com managing director Paul Scott said: ‘All the trends indicate continued growth for these reports in 2009, but we haven’t yet seen the new reports since the recession hit. Companies will continue to publish CSR reports, but we’ll see fewer new reports this year.’
A senior financial agency source went further, saying: ‘As the downturn bites, consumers will also become less interested in ethical issues and more aware of price above everything else.’
But Stuart Poore, director of corporate responsibility at Virgin Media, said only those on the periphery of CSR practice would reduce activity.
‘All too often CSR descends into back-slapping and self-congratulation – for firms where CSR is not central to their core business, it will be easy to jettison,’ he said. ‘But for companies that regard CSR as a fundamental part of the business, the idea we wouldn’t seek to get better at CSR or report on it is a non-starter.’
Vodafone Group also remains committed to CSR reporting. The company’s head of corporate responsibility, Chris Burgess, said: ‘It is important that we are confident Vodafone addresses the social and environmental challenges we face.
‘The CSR report is a good way of assessing our strategy, direction and performance, and we are committed to continuing this process.’
Runners up: Coca-Cola Enterprises, Dell
Best First Time Report
Runners up: Deloitte, SolarWorld
Best Carbon Disclosure
Royal Dutch Shell
Runners up: Bayer,
Creativity in Comms
Runners up: LEGO Group,
Relevance and Materiality
Runners up: Bayer, BP
Openness and Honesty
Runners up: BP, Royal Dutch Shell
Credibility through Assurance
Runners up: Royal Dutch Shell, BP
3,100 Number of reports published globally during 2008
336 Number of Global FT 500 firms producing CSR reports in 2008
550 Number of ‘first time’ reports produced in 2008