Leadership and Performance Measures Fall Short as CSR Departments Dissolve into Mainstream

By Echo Research, PRNE
Wednesday, October 6, 2010

LONDON, October 7, 2010 - Corporate leaders are challenged to step up to greater commitments on
sustainability, and to ensure they have performance measures for behaviour
directly linked to responsibility and trust if they are to succeed. With
sustainability driving trust and innovation, companies are making it core to
their strategies and activities, so having stand-alone CSR (corporate social
responsibility) departments looks like a fast-declining trend. This is
according to global reputation auditors Echo Research, in their latest
report, "A World in Trust - Leadership and Corporate Responsibility" with the
International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF).

Based on interviews with 55 corporate leaders and analysis of the latest
thinking and insights from business sources around the world, the study finds
the excessive focus on short-term results and bonus culture is damaging trust
in companies.

"We've been tracking Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) since 2000,
and have seen it move from PR-driven 'greenwash', through to it becoming
critical to the organisation's success in driving innovation and change in
order to be trusted and valued in the long run. While much has been
accomplished in a relatively short time, especially among the leaders we
spoke to, there is still a long and difficult road ahead as internal
structures and systems need to be changed to focus on better alignment with
society's interests," said Sandra Macleod, Echo's Group Chief Executive.

"For trust to flourish among sceptical customers, corporate
responsibility must be 'built-in' rather than 'bolted-on'", according to
IBLF's Acting Chief Executive, Graham Baxter, who advocates a
stakeholder-centric model to deliver material benefit to business. IBLF's
model for success starts with clarity of goals and mainstreaming through all
operations to embrace engagement, partnership, and full accountability.

"This is not a route map for the half-hearted, nor is it a PR exercise.
Our leaders spoke of their commitment, focus, determination, and drive to
address the business challenges and opportunities with stakeholders and
partners in a completely new way in order to be successful and truly fit for
the future. These leaders recognise a certain amount of progress to date,
problems they've encountered and the long route ahead, but ultimately they
feel that they can be a force for good when they make sustainability
strategic", Sandra Macleod concluded.

A World in Trust - Leadership and Corporate Responsibility is available
for download from echoresearch.com/fit. A printed copy can be purchased by
emailing betht@echoresearch.com


Qualitative, mostly face to face and telephone depth interviews with 55
business leaders including the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Coca
Cola, John Brock, and Diageo Chief Executive, Paul Walsh, combined with
content analysis of the most influential business media titles around the

For further information:

Sandra Macleod, Group CEO, Echo Research sandram@echoresearch.com, Tel:
+44(0)-20-7608-1113 | Mob: + 44(0)7770-328-724

or Nigel Middlemiss, Knowledge Director, nigelm@echoresearch.com, Tel:
+44(0)-20-7608-1113 | Mob: +44(0)7771-636028

For further information: Sandra Macleod, Group CEO, Echo Research sandram at echoresearch.com, Tel: +44(0)-20-7608-1113 | Mob: + 44(0)7770-328-724
or Nigel Middlemiss, Knowledge Director, nigelm at echoresearch.com, Tel:
+44(0)-20-7608-1113 | Mob: +44(0)7771-636028

will not be displayed