01.Responsible business honoured
CHOICE is pleased many major companies are committing to greater accountability and doing their best to become more socially and environmentally responsible.
Their efforts were reflected in the Corporate Responsibility Index (CRI) last week, with Energy Australia topping the list for 2008. Companies that scored 90% or more to achieve a gold rating include Boral, Minter Ellison Lawyers, ANZ Banking Group and Foster’s Group Limited.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) won Greatest Improved Performance, earning a silver rating, while Sensis – home of the Yellow Pages, White Pages and Trading Post – took out Best New Entrant.
Candidates included 22 Australian and New Zealand companies, six global submissions, and seven undisclosed companies on the private index. The index provides a voluntary framework for corporate responsibility, with a focus on four key impact areas – community, environment, marketplace and workplace. These are examined through performance and impact, management, corporate strategy and integration.
“While most companies are currently only focused on their financial bottom line, these business leaders are asking the tough questions, building resilience for their business and attracting a stronger customer base, all while protecting communities and the environment,” says CHOICE Senior Sustainability Policy Officer, Victoria Coleman.
The index is part of St James Ethics Centre’s national Responsible Business Practice project and funded by the federal government. It is based on web-based self-assessment, with all submissions subject to independent validation, which this year was conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
“Consumers want green and ethical decisions to be easier,” says Coleman. “This assurance process takes out the tough guesswork and lets them know which companies are strategically addressing their environmental and social impacts.”
The St James Ethics Centre will receive two million dollars in government funding over the next three years so that it may become the focal point for the Global Reporting Initiative and UN Global Compact, which will encourage responsible business practice by providing a framework and principles respectively.
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