FRIDAY 24 APR 2009 9:47 AM


Consumers and graduates both taking more of an interest

Whether looking for work or buying products or services, two new surveys last week suggested that the recession has sharpened our attitudes to CSR. The first comes from a new Business in the Community (BITC) report from Ireland, which found that a growing number of consumers think about the corporate responsibility track records of companies before buying their products. For the BITC, this is seen as an opportunity for those businesses that have a strong CSR story to tell, yet the report also highlights a number of contradictions. Among those questioned, 80% said an organisation’s commitment to social and environmental responsibility is important, but the same number were unable to name any businesses that were particularly strong in CSR.

Similarly, while over 90% claimed to be taking steps to ‘go green’ in their private lives, almost 20% fewer could think of a company doing the same. The report was the third ‘Survey of Consumer Attitudes in Ireland towards Corporate Responsibility’ commissioned by Business in the Community Ireland in conjunction with Ipsos MORI. The previous surveys took place in 2003 and 2006.

Meanwhile, in the job market, a study by design group Herman Miller claims university leavers are looking at more than the potential size of their salaries before picking which companies to send their CVs to. Commenting on its report (‘How and Where Will We Work in 2030?’), director Mark Catchlove said: “The survey shows that a lot of graduates in the current climate are looking at companies based on their corporate social responsibility.”