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Survey: 1 in 2 buyers require CSR in procurement process

New findings from ECA and Considerate Constructors Scheme highlight growing importance of CSR

24 May 2017

Almost half of buyer documents (48 per cent) seen by electrotechnical businesses with turnover above £1 million now ask about engagement with corporate social responsibility (CSR), according to new survey findings from the ECA and the Considerate Constructors Scheme.

Just one in four (24 per cent) said that no buyer document they had encountered had mentioned CSR.  In addition, over half of businesses (53 per cent) with turnover above £5 million actively ask their own supply chain about their CSR policy and activity.

In addition, three-quarters of businesses (76 per cent) with turnover above £1 million responded that they are actively engaged with CSR, and although 24 per cent said that they don’t currently manage CSR, the majority of these businesses said they would consider doing so.

Over half of all respondents (53 per cent) said they expect the importance of CSR to their organisation to grow in the next 5 -10 years. Just 10 per cent said they did not expect its importance to increase, with the remainder (37 per cent) unsure.

ECA Director of Business Paul Reeve commented:

“These ECA survey findings highlight the growing importance of CSR in procurement, and the significance which many businesses now place on ethical and responsible business practices.

“In addition to better company engagement with buyers and others, continual development in this area can help companies, and the industry within which they operate, to be more attractive to prospective employees.”

Considerate Constructors Scheme Chief Executive Edward Hardy added:

“The ECA’s survey findings highlight the growing importance of CSR for all ECA members.

“The Considerate Constructors Scheme is in the prime position to support ECA members to embed CSR principles in relation to their important work they do across the construction industry, and we look forward to supporting more organisations to achieve this goal.”

The top five CSR issues identified by survey respondents were as follows: the environment (63 per cent), occupational health and safety (55 per cent), employee welfare (50 per cent), ethical behaviour (43 per cent), and supporting local initiatives (37 per cent).

The ECA’s CSR survey was completed by around 150 ECA member businesses during April and May this year. Further survey findings will be released later this quarter.

CSR is 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.