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Sustainable Business Growing in Importance, Global Leaders Say at Business for Social Responsibility Conference

Submitted by: BSR

Categories: Events, Corporate Social Responsibility

Posted: Oct 25, 2007 – 03:12 PM EST

 

Corporate Responsibility Climbing Higher on the Business and Public Agenda

Oct. 25 /CSRwire/ - SAN FRANCISCO – October 25, 2007 – Corporate responsibility is becoming a more critical strategic issue for business, according to the results of a survey released today at the Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) Annual Conference in San Francisco. Eighty-two percent of respondents at the event - the leading global gathering of private sector executives, NGOs and policymakers focused on corporate responsibility - say they are optimistic that companies around the world will make corporate social responsibility (CSR) a core business strategy in the next five years.

"There's a tremendous sense of optimism that sustainability - integrated, comprehensive solutions to urgent global challenges such as climate change, consumer product safety and the impact of rapid industrialization - is now firmly on both the business and public agenda," said Aron Cramer, president and CEO of BSR. "The opportunity to make real and lasting progress on critical business sustainability issues has never been greater."

Why the sharpening focus on sustainable business? Consumer behavior and concerns about reputation top the list, said nearly half (47 percent) of the 330 business leaders and others polled. Mattel, Inc. Chairman and CEO Robert Eckert's description of the company's perspective on recent toy recalls illustrates this: "All organizations have areas of improvement. But it's how problems are addressed and the transparency and honesty with which these are addressed that builds the character of a company."

The survey also unearthed valuable new insights about business strategies for addressing climate change. Nearly one-third of respondents (31 percent) said energy efficiency and renewable energy are at the heart of their corporate climate change efforts. Despite recent widespread attention to the practice of carbon offsets, very few - just 6 percent - said this was a focus.

Acknowledging the growing influence of emerging economies on the business landscape, an overwhelming majority of respondents (69 percent) said China is the country that will most influence the evolution of corporate responsibility in the next five years.

The participation of more than 1,350 leaders from nearly 50 countries - the largest BSR Conference ever - underscores the unprecedented attention to corporate responsibility issues globally.

For more information about the 2007 BSR Conference, visit www.bsr.org/conference. Fleishman-Hillard International Communications conducted the in-person survey among more than 330 randomly selected participants at the BSR Conference in San Francisco on October 23 and 24, 2007. The Conference continues through Friday, October 26.

About BSR

Since 1992, Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) has been providing socially responsible business solutions to many of the world's leading corporations. Headquartered in San Francisco and with offices in Europe, China and Hong Kong, BSR is a nonprofit business association that serves its 250 member companies and other Global 1000 enterprises. Through advisory services, convenings and research, BSR works with corporations and concerned stakeholders of all types to create a more just and sustainable global economy. For more information, visit www.bsr.org.

For more information, please contact:

Barbara-Anne Mansfield Business for Social Responsibility
Phone: 415-558-1550
Website: www.bsr.org
Channing Barringer Fleishman-Hillard for Business for Social Responsibility
Phone: 917-806-5094

 

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