London, 9th February 2016: Only 28% of British businesses and 13% of the British public believe that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a central driver of modern business success, according to new research conducted by YouGov in conjunction with Kohli Ventures, the global technology investment company. Furthermore, 62% of the UK public didn’t know what to think about CSR or thought that it was merely a tick box exercise.
Looking forward though, 76% of the companies polled believed that business should play a greater role in influencing the social and economic environment from where they derive their workforce – supporting “social accountability” to their local community over the wider notion of corporate social responsibility. This feeling is shared by Deloitte’s recent global poll of Millennials, which revealed that 87% believe that “the success of a business should be measured in terms of more than just its financial performance”.
Of the 208 senior decision-makers at large British businesses asked by YouGov about how they measured the impact of their CSR programme, 22% said they had no measure at all and 17% didn’t know. 30% measured CSR in terms of the number of profile raising opportunities. Only 30% measured the beneficial impact on partners and communities derived from the CSR programme.
More recently there has been an increasing move from CSR to Social Enterprise. A recent poll by Social Enterprise UK found that the social enterprise sector is blooming, with social enterprises now outperforming traditional UK SMEs in terms of turnover, recruitment and growth. Government figures show that social enterprises now contribute more than £24bn to the economy and employing nearly a million people.
Reacting to the research, Chairman and CEO of Kohli Ventures, Tej Kohli, said: “Today’s research raises questions about the impact of traditional CSR programmes and accountability of businesses towards them. I believe passionately that doing good can and should be woven into the DNA of doing business. As discussed in Davos recently, there is a critical role that business has to play in delivering the UN’s recently agreed Sustainable Development Goals and we are conducting further research into how big business can best help do this.”