Corporate Societal Engagement on the Rise Globally

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – In 2016, as all the UN member countries begin implementing strategies to meet the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the world recognizes the pivotal role that corporations can play in the achievement of these global milestones. Several companies are already taking important steps to align their corporate giving and societal engagement around the SDGs.

To bring this encouraging trend into the spotlight, CECP has released a new report called Giving Around the Globe 2016, which shows a sharp increase in corporate societal engagement across borders in Africa and Asia, and the continuation of a high-level of international corporate societal investment in Europe. The report is the result of a comprehensive analysis of data from over 120 large companies headquartered in 20 countries across the world.

The report reveals that 81 percent of European companies and 65 percent of Asian companies gave internationally to charitable causes in 2015. The figures were lower for other regions, with 38 percent of Latin American companies and 25 percent of South African companies reporting giving internationally.

Region-wise corporate societal engagement trends include:

Europe

Eighty-one percent of the surveyed European companies gave internationally, although Brexit may affect cross-border contributions as well as labor mobility. In terms of migrant-related job creation and economic support, Germany has made notable efforts to host and support the influx of newcomers.

Officials put the total number of new arrivals in Germany at over a million. Matching the donations made by Google, the German company Audi and the German football team Bayern Munich have both pledged $1.1million to support local emergency aid programs.

In addition, Daimler and Continental have launched training programs; the German branch of KPMG offers its staff paid leave to volunteer at aid organizations working with refugees; and both Deutsche Telekom and Siemens have been advertising paid internships for refugees.

Asia

Pro Bono service was the most commonly offered domestic volunteer program and several organizations also promoted skills-based volunteering opportunities for employees working in Asia. In India, CSR spending has increased substantially since the passage of the CSR law in 2013.

Average CSR spending among public sector firms increased from 26 million rupees in 2012 to 147 million rupees in 2013. The number of companies that disclosed their CSR activities also has increased since the law went into effect: from 504 in 2012 to 1,470 in 2013.

Latin America

Only 38 percent of Latin American companies offered matching- gift programs, which is lower than any other region, suggesting Latin American companies can explore increasing employee engagement by matching donations to employees’ personal donations, engendering a deeper sense of giving back.

Embraer, a Brazilian executive jet-manufacturing company, established the Embraer Institute, which encourages educational support for top schools in São Paulo. As of 2012, more than 1,600 students had graduated, with 100 percent passing college entrance exams and more than 80 percent going to public universities.

Africa

Few South African companies offered Pro Bono service opportunities, despite a deep commitment to giving, such as paid-release time for domestic volunteerism. The data shows that South African companies allocated a higher percentage of total giving to education-related causes than any other region (44 percent of total giving).

The organized philanthropy and CSR initiatives of Nigeria’s four largest companies – Dangote Cement, ZenithBank, FBN Holdings, andGuarantyTrust Bank – are clear examples of businesses attempting to take these issues seriously.

In 2012, Zenith Bank was recognized as one of the 30 outstanding global brands performing highly on CSR scales, including Airbus, Credit Suisse, Unilever, and Kia Motors.

Source and Image: CECP