Posted by: Sam Carson | 20 September, 2007

Europe is the Global Leader for Responsible Business

Last Thursday saw a report released by Ethical Investment Research Services (EIRiS) in London. The State of Responsible Business (PDF in full, PDF in summary) surveyed the actual business practices of 1,996 Businesses from around the globe, with focus on Corporate Governance, Human Rights, and Environmental Responsibilities among others. Here are the “Key Findings” from the summary document:

  • Over the past 25 years EIRIS has seen CSR [Corporate Social Responsibility] evolve from a mainly philanthropic activity to a more mainstream approach that integrates responsible business principles into core business activities.
  • Responsible business practices are increasingly being adopted by companies worldwide though there are significant differences between regions.
  • European companies have well developed responsible business practices across a broad range of issues. This is due to a sophisticated responsible investment market, NGO pressure and a strong regulatory environment.
  • Japanese companies demonstrate strong performance on environmental issues, although need to make progress on other areas to match European levels.
  • Beyond a core of companies which have adopted responsible business practices, North American companies significantly lag behind their European counterparts across all the areas researched.
  • Large companies are more likely to adopt responsible business practices than smaller companies. Larger companies by market capitalisation are more likely to adopt human rights policies and demonstrate environmental performance improvements
  • Continued growth in responsible investment especially amongst ‘mainstream’ investors, driven by a belief that environmental, social and governance issues affect financial performance, is expected to drive greater corporate take up of and reporting on these issues.

The summary PDF provides an excellent point form overview of the details within this report.


  1. […] might say.  Well, CSR is becoming more and more a developed idea in Europe, and with results.  I posted recently on a study by the independent Ethical Investment Research Service.  The statistics were pretty clear, Europe […]

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