CSR is Not Dead - It's Just Mismanaged - Reputation Institute December 12, 2012

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2012 CSR RepTrak™ 100 Study shows companies wasting millions on CSR

Reputation Institute

Reputation Institute

“We recognize that public trust in corporations depends in large part on the basic aspects of business character: integrity, accountability, values, responsibility and transparency,” says Dan Bross, Senior Director of Corporate Citizenship, Microsoft.

The results of Reputation Institute’s 2012 CSR RepTrak™ 100 Study uncover that many of the world’s 100 most reputable companies have little to show for the millions of dollars they spend on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.

“For companies to win in the reputation economy, they need customers and stakeholders to trust and support them. CSR is a major driver of trust and reputation. So CSR is not dead. But with 50-60% of consumers unsure if the largest companies in the world are good corporate citizens, open and transparent, and are good places to work, it is clear that CSR investments are being mismanaged”, says Kasper Nielsen, Executive Partner of Reputation Institute.

Sixty percent of the 47,000 respondents across the fifteen markets in the 2012 CSR RepTrak™ 100 Study were unsure if companies are good corporate citizens that support good causes and protect the environment. Four percent believe that companies could absolutely not be trusted.

The CSR RepTrak™ 100 Study clearly confirms that companies that make reputation management and hence, CSR, a driving force in their business strategy realize results…a five point increase in a CSR rating would result in a 9.1% rise in the number of people who would definitely recommend a company. There is real money in improving reputation through CSR, but companies are failing to leverage this.

“Companies are mismanaging their CSR investments…it’s that simple. They are not applying the same rigor to these investments as they do to their other core business priorities. They are not linking CSR to their business strategy but instead, treating it as a separate initiative and investment. You don’t do CSR for the sake of CSR. You do CSR as part of your reputation management strategy to drive business growth, customer loyalty, and employee alignment” says Nielsen.

Microsoft Named Most Socially Responsible Company in the World

Microsoft has the best reputation for CSR in the world according to the 2012 CSR RepTrak™ 100. It is the company in the world that is seen as delivering best on Citizenship, Workplace, and Governance. A remarkable result when you consider that the company in the early 2000s was under attack for using its market dominance to drive up consumer prices and put pressure on the competition with unfair business practices. So how did Microsoft turn this perception around?

“We recognize that public trust in corporations depends in large part on the basic aspects of business character: integrity, accountability, values, responsibility and transparency,” says Dan Bross, Senior Director of Corporate Citizenship, Microsoft. “A strong and steady core is the bedrock of both right action and good business. Over the past fifteen years we have increased our engagement in public policy discussions that relate to our business, and now publish our public policy agenda every year to let everyone see what issues we are working on and how they impact our business. Bottom line – we enhanced our commitment to accountability, strong corporate governance and transparency.”

Microsoft is joined in the top 10 by Google, The Walt Disney Company, BMW, Apple, Daimler, VW, SONY, LEGO, and Colgate-Palmolive.

Overall, Microsoft placed first in terms of governance and second in both workplace and citizenship behind Google and Walt Disney Company respectively. Of the one hundred companies evaluated, only twenty two were considered ethically strong, with the remaining seventy eight deemed average in terms of transparency and openness.

Top Trends

  •     Only six percent of respondents perceive the Top 100 companies as good corporate citizens
  • Only seventeen percent of respondents definitely trust what companies promise in their         advertising and marketing
  • Only nineteen percent of respondents trust what companies say in official reports
  • Fifty four percent of respondents definitely agree that Microsoft is a responsibly-run company earning it the top spot for Governance
  • The Walt Disney Company wins Citizenship with fifty percent of respondents definitely agreeing that The Walt Disney Company is a good corporate citizen
  • Google takes first place in Workplace with fifty percent of respondents definitely agreeing that Google is an appealing place to work and that it treats its employees well
  • No company has a top CSR perception across all fifteen markets proving the difficulties companies have in exporting their reputation

Download the 2012 CSR RepTrak™ 100 Study Top Line Report

(Full ranking below)

About Reputation Institute
Reputation Institute is the world's leading corporate reputation consulting firm. Founded in 1997, with a presence in over 30 countries, we are the pioneer in reputation management. Through systematic research and analysis, Reputation Institute supports companies to build comprehensive strategies and make operational decisions that are designed to align stakeholders with corporate objectives creating tangible economic value. We enable leaders to make business decisions that build and protect reputational capital and drive competitive advantage.

For more information: http://www.reputationinstitute.com

Reputation Institute Contacts:
Andrew Singer
T: +45 5090 5190
E: mailto:asinger@reputationinstitute.com

Lila Ghayour
T: +1 212 495 3855 – ext. 340
E: lghayour@reputationinstitute.com

2012 - CSR RepTrak™ 100
Rank Company
1    Microsoft
2    Google
3    The Walt Disney Company
4    BMW
5    Apple
6    Daimler (Mercedes-Benz)
7    Volkswagen
8    Sony
9    Colgate-Palmolive
10    LEGO Group
11    IBM
12    Intel
13    Johnson & Johnson
14    Canon
15    Honda Motor
16    Nestlé
17    Panasonic
18    Adidas Group
19    Michelín
20    3M
21    IKEA
22    Danone
23    Philips Electronics
24    The Coca-Cola Company
25    Samsung Electronics
26    Kellogg
27    Ferrero
28    Bridgestone
29    Cisco Systems
30    Amazon.com
31    L'Oréal
32    Marriott International
33    Nintendo
34    Hewlett-Packard
35    Siemens
36    FedEx
37    Toyota
38    Deutsche Lufthansa
39    Goodyear
40    Abbott Laboratories
41    LG Corporation
42    Procter & Gamble
43    Nissan Motor
44    Singapore Airlines
45    Nokia
46    Oracle
47    Giorgio Armani Group
48    LVMH Group
49    Roche
50    Bayer
51    Airbus
52    Hilton Worldwide
53    Unilever
54    General Electric
55    SAS (Scandinavian Airlines)
56    Boeing
57    Yahoo!
58    Pirelli
59    Swatch Group
60    Toshiba
61    Qantas Airways
62    Xerox
63    Dell
64    Fujifilm
65    Barilla
66    Nike
67    Avon Products
68    Sara Lee
69    Electrolux
70    Kraft Foods
71    DuPont
72    General Mills
73    H&M
74    Marks & Spencer Group
75    Virgin Group
76    UPS
77    Heineken
78    ACER
79    Suzuki Motor
80    PepsiCo
81    Eli Lilly
82    Hitachi
83    eBay
84    GlaxoSmithKline
85    Diageo
86    Starbucks Coffee Company
87    Carlsberg Group
88    HJ Heinz
89    Sharp
90    Air France-KLM
91    Petrobras
92    Pfizer
93    Eastman Kodak
94    Lenovo Group
95    Fujitsu
96    Hyundai
97    Zara
98    Vodafone
99    Carrefour
100    Lockheed Martin

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Lila Ghayour
Reputation Institute
(212) 495-3855
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