New survey highlights growing importance of CSR in procurement process

corporate social responsibilityAlmost half of electrical contractors are now asked to provide evidence of corporate social responsibility (CSR) engagement as a condition of appointment by clients, a new survey has revealed.

Findings from a poll by the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) and the Considerate Constructors Scheme revealed that 48% of buyer documents seen by electrotechnical businesses with turnover above £1 million now ask about engagement with CSR.

Just one in four (24%) said that no buyer document they had encountered had mentioned CSR. In addition, over half of businesses (53%) with turnover above £5m actively ask their own supply chain about their CSR policy and activity.

Three-quarters of businesses (76%) with turnover above £1m responded that they are actively engaged with CSR, and although 24% said that they don’t currently manage CSR, the majority of these businesses said they would consider doing so.

Over half of all respondents (53%) said they expect the importance of CSR to their organisation to grow in the next 5 -10 years. Just 10 per cent said they did not expect its importance to increase, with the remainder (37 per cent) unsure.

ECA director of business, Paul Reeve, said: “These ECA survey findings highlight the growing importance of CSR in procurement, and the significance which many businesses now place on ethical and responsible business practices.

“In addition to better company engagement with buyers and others, continual development in this area can help companies, and the industry within which they operate, to be more attractive to prospective employees.”

Considerate Constructors Scheme chief executive, Edward Hardy, added: “The ECA’s survey findings highlight the growing importance of CSR for all ECA members.

“The Considerate Constructors Scheme is in the prime position to support ECA members to embed CSR principles in relation to their important work they do across the construction industry, and we look forward to supporting more organisations to achieve this goal.”

The top five CSR issues identified by survey respondents were as follows: the environment (63%), occupational health and safety (55%), employee welfare (50%), ethical behaviour (43%), and supporting local initiatives (37%).

The ECA’s CSR survey was completed by around 150 ECA member businesses during April and May this year. Further survey findings will be released later this quarter.

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