CR Index 2014: Assessing economic value

Dairy Crest’s 40 Corporate Responsibility pledges underline our commitment to 'doing the right thing' when it comes to environmental and societal issues, and they also emphasise our commitment to ensuring that corporate responsibility contributes to increasing our profits and reducing risks.

- Richard Macdonald,
CSR chairman at Dairy Crest
One area that remains a challenge even for leading responsible businesses is calculating the financial return 3 in 5 of CR Index participants do evaluate the economic value that CR brings to their business, especially food & beverage producers, support & industrial services and travel companies.

Fortune Favours the Brave indicates the £100bn a year opportunity for UK businesses to unlock through innovation and sustainable growth. In fact 65% of CR Index participants have taken steps to develop sustainable products and services, business process or sourcing practices that have a return investment period greater than normal and have taken steps to scale this up.

However, methodologies vary from formal social accounting frameworks or colleague retention, engagement and enablement correlations to more direct financial value assessments such as media value, savings gained, waste and recycling rebates.

Assessing impact on this basis remains a real challenge for companies, and one which we look forward to seeing more progress on over the next few years


Veolia works with government on how to measure social value, and is developing a framework for calculating Social Return on Investment.

Siemens develops an integrated understanding of how sustainability issues - social, environmental and economic - contribute to growth, return on capital and risk management.

Gentoo has an evaluation and impact measurement framework for community investment activity which includes Social Accounting and Auditing and Social Return on Investment. 

Dairy Crest assesses the economic value of each of their 40 CR pledges as well as social and environmental value.

Anglian Water’s Love Every Drop business strategy is underpinned by sustainability principles. Each key transformational project has an element of cost benefit analysis as part of its business case.         

Fujitsu estimates the economic value of corporate responsibility by storing details of the CR requirement made by customers. Where the weighting and contract value are known, this generates the economic value.

Willmott Dixon. Stakeholder mapping occurs on a project by project basis, looking at the positive and negative impacts on each stakeholder group. They communicate, consult, engage and empower the stakeholders.

KPMG engaged a responsible business consultancy to undertake global stakeholder engagement holding a series of workshops to identify and prioritise internal and external stakeholders.

Read the full report.