Study: ”The engines” of CSR slow down in 2018

Aurel Dragan 30/08/2018 | 13:30

Valoria’s CSR study for 2018 reveals that 70 percent of the respondents helped the community through cash donations and 75 of the companies targeted education for intervention and support. The results of the study indicate a slowdoen in CSR “engine” compared to last year and significantly fewer companies involve their employees in CSR actions. 

Valoria together with CSRMedia.ro launched the new edition of the Dynamics and Perspective of CSR in Romania. The outcome of this partnership, the study is a comparative analysis of the evolution of the concept of the corporate social responsibility in the last 6 years and it is addressed to CSR specialists, but especially to managers and executive directors who want to understand the evolution of this field.

The results of the current edition indicate a slowdown in CSR “engines” in 2018 compared to 2017. Moreover, significantly fewer companies involve their employees in CSR actions.

In 2018, 78 percent of respondents, compared to 86 percent last year, define social responsibility as community involvement. The results of this year’s survey show declines in all response categories, from community involvement (-8 pp) to supplier chain management (-4 pp, percentage points). The only increase is business ethics (+4 pp).

This year, 57 percent of companies, compared to 55 percent last year, say they are involved in CSR because they are part of the public relations strategy. On the other hand, although there are fewer companies that say they are involved in CSR because these actions give them recognition and visibility, there are many that say corporate social responsibility is part of their sustainability strategy.

The percentage of companies that say they have a CSR strategy has risen by just +1 pp, from 86 percent last year to 87 percent this year. The largest increase is also in 2018 by the companies that say they have received the CSR strategy from the parent company, this mechanism being, in fact, the main way of spreading the field of CSR in Romania.

The percentage of companies that say they have an internal / external process to identify the CSR-relevant themes and implement it is growing by +7pp. This is yet to be seen as a mature approach to corporate CSR.

Overall, compared to last year, the number of companies that track the impact of CSR increases by +4pp. Reporting according to international standards shows a decrease of -8pp, the one according to own rating systems increases by +13 pp and the one based on evaluations offered by partners +1 pp. 48 percent of respondents, compared with 35 percent in the previous year, say they use their own rating systems to track the impact of CSR activities.

Significantly fewer respondents than last year, 67 percent vs. 79 percent, say they involve their employees in CSR actions by the firm. The difference of +12 pp went to companies that say they are trying, but employees do not get involved. The other responses are similar to those in 2017. 67 percent of respondents, down from 79 percent a year ago, say they involve their employees in corporate CSR actions.

More than 90 percent of respondents collaborate with NGOs to implement CSR projects this year. It is worth mentioning the decrease of -19 pp of those who have a collaboration with the central/local authorities, but especially the increase of +6 pp of the companies that collaborate with educational institutions.

30 percent of respondents, compared with 35 percent previously, say that the CSR budget stagnated in 2018. 21 percent of respondents, compared with 29 percent one year ago, say that the CSR budget in 2018 is between 50,000 euros and 100,000 euros. 36 percent of companies run projects with an average value of maximum EUR 10,000-50,000. Only 3 percent say the average value of their projects is over 100,000 euros. At the same time, 63 percent of companies in 2018, compared to 65 percent in 2017, say the PR and Marketing department is the one that mainly provides a budget line for CSR.

84 percent of companies communicate their CSR projects through social media (+5pp), 81 percent by press releases (-3pp) and 78 percent on the company website (stagnation).

75 percent of companies in 2017, compared with 65 percent previously, targeted education for intervention and support and only 60 percent vs 65 percent social domain. 70 percent of respondents to this edition, compared with 72 percent previously, helped the community through cash donations, while 47 percent vs. 58 percent made donations in kind. While 30 percent of companies consider the environment to be the most important area for assessing the impact of CSR activity in 2018.

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