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Survey: Over 1 in 2 firms say CSR boosts staff retention

ECA and Considerate Constructors Scheme survey findings show business benefits of corporate social responsibility

27 June 2017

Over 1 in 2 electrotechnical businesses (51 per cent) say that engagement with corporate social responsibility helps to 'improve staff retention and recruitment', according to new survey findings from the ECA and the Considerate Constructors Scheme.

Some two-thirds of respondents (67 per cent) highlighted 'improved customer or client relationships' as another business benefit of CSR work. While 'positive media coverage' (41 per cent), 'cost savings' (30 per cent) and the 'ability to manage risk in the supply chain' (28 per cent), were also listed as significant benefits of CSR engagement.

Of those businesses currently engaging with CSR, almost half (45 per cent) said that they measured health and safety outcomes, while 1 in 3 respondents (39 per cent) monitored environmental impacts, to help assess their success.

ECA Director of Business Paul Reeve commented:

“These new findings highlight the key role of CSR in helping a business to retain and recruit staff, improve relationships with clients, and achieve process changes and cost savings.

 “Increasingly, companies that are communicating effectively with their key stakeholders, and delivering social and environmental value, are seeing direct - in addition to indirect - business benefits".

Considerate Constructors Scheme Chief Executive Edward Hardy added:

It is very encouraging to see that over half of survey respondents are realising the benefits of CSR across their organisation. There is, however, much more to be done in achieving greater engagement throughout construction and its related industries.

 “We must continue to work together to raise standards to ensure that every organisation is fully engaged with CSR. This can be achieved through registration with the Considerate Constructors Scheme, which clearly demonstrates how an organisation is proving commitment to CSR for the benefit of the workforce, the local community and the environment.”

Although many respondents cited business benefits, CSR requires knowledge and resources. 1 in 2 businesses (50 per cent) claimed that, for them, developing CSR initiatives was 'too time consuming'. Respondents also cited 'lack of knowledge' (43 per cent), 'financial constraints' (20 per cent) and a 'lack of guidance' (32 per cent) as barriers to engaging with CSR.

Paul Reeve added:

"We see the responses above as an open invitation for the ECA to help members - and the wider sector - to understand CSR, and the routes to effective prioritisation and cost-effective CSR management.”

The survey described CSR as "a voluntary, ethical and strategic approach to action and stakeholder engagement, in support of improved environmental and societal impacts. The aim is to produce value for both the organisation and the wider society in which it operates".

The CSR survey was completed by almost 150 ECA member businesses during April and May this year. To see further survey findings, please click here.