Thursday, 27 January 2011

Business Leaders see little profit in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

A survey of 700 UK business leaders by the government funded Carbon Trust shows that 77% state that the main benefit of going green is to enhance their reputation. Which is not surprising because less than a third think it will improve their profits.

It is worth examining that result. A whopping 92% said that there were growth opportunities for their companies in the green economy, 40% think it will outstrip growth in the ‘conventional economy’ (so 60% think it won't) and 75% think it will account for more jobs. But…less than a third is investing in R&D despite these growth prospects and despite a belief that new technology will drive it. And why is that? Because less than a third think it will improve their profits. The obvious conclusion from the data is that they believe it is largely a public relations exercise and a response to legislation and not a serious profit opportunity.

Of course the Carbon Trust has not drawn these conclusions from their data but they wouldn’t would they?

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