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April 20, 2009

2008 Sees Increases in CSR Reporting and Adherence to GRI Guidelines
    by Robert Kropp users vote Vodafone as best CSR report overall for the second year in a row, and Royal Dutch Shell for best carbon reporting. -- In 2007,, an online directory of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability reports, developed the CR Reporting Awards (CRRA), which seek to identify and acknowledge the best in corporate non-financial reporting. Recently, announced the CRRA winners for 2008. invited 2,000 companies that published CSR or sustainability reports in 2008 to participate, and the first 120 entries were accepted. The 26,000 members of were then invited to vote across nine award categories.

In support of the awards, published a report entitled The CR Reporting Awards Global Winners & Reporting Trends, which elaborates on trends in CSR and sustainability reporting. found that the number of CSR reports published in 2008 increased to 3,100 from 2,000 in 2007; two-thirds of the Global FT 500 are now producing such reports.

The majority of reports do not follow the sustainability reporting guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), although the number of reports that do so are growing. In 2008, just over 1,000 companies, or about one-third, produced GRI reports.

Of the registered users who viewed the report profiles on its web site, 58% were from Europe and 23% were from North and Central America. The largest stakeholder groups viewing the report profiles included students and investors. Almost 10% of reports viewed were from the banking sector, followed by oil and gas at about 7%.

The winner for best CSR report for the year was Vodafone, followed by Coca-Cola and Dell. Vodafone won for best overall report for the second year in a row. In 2008, Vodafone also placed first in the categories of Relevance & Materiality and Credibility through Assurance.

The winner for best first-time report was Virgin Media, and the winner for Best Carbon Disclosure was Royal Dutch Shell. In 2007, BMW won for its report on carbon disclosure.

In its report, finds it likely that the economic crisis will lead to the incorporation of CSR reports into corporate annual reports. The company argues that such cost-saving measures may actually lead to improvements, with more on-line reporting and more concise reports overall.

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