Corporate social responsibility: the power of perception

Businesses remain focused on the merits of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in terms of building brand, securing key staff and winning future contracts. Globally, more than half of businesses cite public attitudes/brand building and recruitment/retention of staff as the key drivers (alongside cost management) this year, highlighting the importance of public opinion in shaping businesses' CSR priorities.

Businesses in northern Europe and Africa, together with North America and the Asia-Pacific region lead the way in initiating socially responsible practices. However, much of mainland Europe, and some of the fastest growing economies in the world such as Brazil, India, Russia and Turkey are lagging behind on this measure.

Relatively few businesses globally currently report on their CSR activity, although the practice is more widespread in emerging economies. Meanwhile, businesses are divided as to whether integrating the reporting of non-financials, such as CSR, with financials should be regarded as best practice.

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