The Azores Sustainability & CSR Services announces the launch of the second edition of Community Index 2020: the radiography of corporate investment projects in Romanian communities

Mihai-Alexandru Cristea 04/11/2020 | 17:02

The Azores Sustainability & CSR Services Agency launches the second edition of the Community Index ranking, the results of which will be published in the bilingual yearbook Community Index Magazine. The projects and programs developed by Romanian companies in communities are increasingly performing year by year and can play a critical role in developing the directions in which they invest, in promoting economic well-being and vitality, through strong partnerships with the authorities or with local NGOs.


What is Community Index?

Community Index is the first and only index of programs and projects developed by companies in Romania for community investment, launched in 2019.

The mission of the ranking is to highlight high-performance CSR projects that place more emphasis on issues such as stakeholder dialogue, project sustainability and measuring medium and long-term impact. Community Index is a component part of Romania CSR Index ranking (as parent index), the most important analysis of the level of transparency and performance from the perspective of corporate sustainability.

Where are the results of the analysis published?

The Community Index results are published every year both online, on the official website, and in the printed version of Community Index Magazine, a bilingual yearbook that aims to become the most relevant source of know-how in Romania on sustainability and corporate responsibility for industry professionals, community members, NGOs and authorities.

What is the methodology behind the Community Index?

The 2020 scorecard had a total of 43 indicators that are aligned with the most important international standards or benchmarks in the field of community investment:

  • The LBG Framework;
  • International Finance Corporation – Strategic Community Investment Guide;
  • GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards (GRI Standards).

Community Index was structured according to 17 of the most important communities in which companies invest in Romania, such as: entrepreneurship, health, education, environment, sustainable cities, nutrition etc. For the 2020 ranking, over 800 initiatives from 350 companies were analyzed, and the projects with the best scores were recognized with Gold Level, Silver Level or Bronze Level distinctions.

What are the objectives of the Community Index ranking?

Alina Liciu (Managing Partner, The Azores Sustainability & CSR Services) states:

“The main objectives of Community Index are to increase the level of performance for more and more community investment projects, by establishing a database of good practices and encouraging continuous dialogue between community members and companies interested in investing. At the same time, we want to encourage innovation and quality know-how by promoting international standards for measuring the impact these projects have in society, which can be very useful in meeting the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “

What type of content can be found in the bilingual Community Index Magazine?

The 2020 edition of Community Index Magazine contains exclusive interviews with globally recognized experts in the field of corporate sustainability, such as:

  • Elaine Cohen: Managing Partner, Beyond Business
  • Gemma Corrigan: Lead of the Sustainable Markets Initiative, World Economic Forum
  • George Harrington: Manager of Corporate & Stakeholder Engagement, Global Reporting Initiative
  • David Grayson: Emeritus Professor of Corporate Responsibility, Cranfield School of Management
  • Kristina Balciauskaite: Research Manager, Euromonitor International
  • Nick de Mey: Co-Founder, Board of Innovation

Ioana Marin (Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Community Index Magazine) states:

“In this atypical context, dominated by uncertainty, it has been proven to all of us that responsibility is not just a concept that sounds good in theory, but is the very proof that our actions can literally save lives. Community Index team believes that a global change for the better can only become a reality if each of us, at the individual level, self-educates, gets involved and acts responsibly in the community they are part of.”

Community Index Magazine is the contribution of The Azores Sustainability & CSR Services agency to the development of the field of corporate sustainability in Romania, which aims to deliver not only know-how and authentic content, but to make concrete efforts: part of the printed yearbooks will be offered free-of-charge to companies that have over 500 employees (700 companies).

To combat the phenomenon of “screen-fatigue”, Community Index team considered that returning to a magazine printed on FSC® certified paper, from sustainable sources, will provide not only valuable information, but also an authentic experience in itself. The cover of the magazine is created by Ovidiu Solcan (collage artist), being a sustainable collage from recycled magazines, representing Maria Tănase, the symbol of creative Romania.

The yearbook also presents a series of case studies and interviews from Romanian companies that carry out projects that can be considered “best practices in Romanian CSR” and that can serve as models for a growing number of companies wishing to have a positive impact on society.

Among the companies with good practices mentioned in the yearbook are: Ariston Thermo Romania, Avon Romania, BCR, Carrefour Romania, Coca-Cola HBC Romania, CEZ Group in Romania, HEINEKEN Romania, Hochland Romania, ING Bank Romania, JYSK Romania, Janssen Romania, Kaufland Romania, MedLife, Nestlé Romania, OMV Petrom, Penny Romania, Transelectrica, Unilever Romania, Ubisoft Romania, Vodafone Romania.

More details on Community Index and the bilingual Community Index Magazine can be found here

What is the context?

Sustainable development is a fundamental goal of the European Union. All Commission policies, such as climate neutrality or resource efficiency, contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Consequently, from 2020, Member States’ progress towards the 2030 Agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be integrated into the European Semester, with a summary assessment and a specific annex in each country report, setting out the SDG performance of each Member State. The 2030 Agenda, adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2015, has so far proved very useful in establishing a perspective on global efforts to achieve sustainable development.

While facing many challenges, stakeholders have high expectations of corporations to act as a good citizen and intensify their efforts to fight for a sustainable future. Although there are companies that perform well when it comes to sustainability, most of them are still struggling to find the right strategy and make significant progress in the field. In the new UN report on the private sector, the UN Global Compact shows the progress made towards achieving a sustainable future. The bottom line is that most of the companies involved are not doing enough to contribute to the 2030 Agenda.

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