Study: Corporations primarily seek well-enforced CSR laws when considering new investments

Source: Euractiv, 10 February 2004

A survey, entitled "Race to the Top: Attracting and Enabling Global Sustainable Business", has found that sixty-one per cent of respondents (executives of multinational enterprises) were seeking strong laws on CSR when seeking partners, which are rigorously enforced to create a level playing field for business and discourage corruption. The survey, commissioned by the World Bank Group, has examined the role of CSR when large corporations consider new trade and investment ventures.
When looking for local partners, respondents reportedly take their own company’s code of conduct as a guideline (51 per cent). Just over 30 per cent of respondents, however, require adherence to an external code or standard. Host countries and partners were most often required to adhere to ISO 1400 and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions, among the multi-sector codes. The most influential forums identified in this survey were the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

The survey has found that the influence of external standards shows regional differences. The impact of ILO Core Conventions, the UN Global Compact and the OECD Guidelines for MNEs appear to be high in Western Europe and Japan (between 40 and 60 per cent of respondents). In developing countries, the impact of ILO Core Conventions appears to be the strongest among the three codes, while the UN Global Compact was perceived as the most influential standard in the US, Canada and Australia.

Download the survey report (pdf)