Top German companies stand out globally for online CSR communications. Research finds Henkel, Adidas and Bayer have the best websites.
Consumer products company Henkel wins the CSR Online Awards ‘Germany 2009’, a ranking of the best online CSR communications from components of the DAX 30 index. Sports equipment maker Adidas and chemicals company Bayer tie for second place. German companies perform well at an international level even though many communicate only basic CSR information; most fail to make use of interactivity to engender dialogue.
The results of the CSR Online Awards ‘Germany 2009’, a study of online CSR communications conducted by financial communications consultancy Lundquist, have been published today in Handelsblatt, revealing how Germany’s leading companies perform in communicating corporate social responsibility (CSR) on the internet.
With the aim of stimulating debate about the importance of the web as a strategic tool for corporate responsibility, the study evaluated how well the 30 components of the DAX index use their corporate websites as a platform for CSR communication. Each website was assessed using a set of 76 evaluation criteria, drawn up on the basis of a survey conducted by Lundquist of 184 CSR professionals and sector experts from 30 different countries.
Henkel, with 67.5 points out of a maximum of 100, won first place thanks to a website providing not only core content such as CSR policies and environmental commitment but also covering topics that many others ignore, such as socially responsible investments, human resources and membership of CSR associations. Adidas and Bayer paired up at second place with 61 points each while RWE (60.5), E.ON (60) and Basf (59.5) fell just short of the podium.
Beyond the top performers, many of the companies studied provide only a limited range of pertinent information online and fail to use the web to its full potential. The average score was 42.8 points out of 100: German companies performed best in providing environmental information and CSR/sustainability reports; they were weakest at giving contact information, interactivity and CSR resources, news and events.
“German companies need to provide a broader range of information about their CSR activities and also learn to use the internet to engage stakeholders”, said James Osborne, head of CSR communications at Lundquist.”Companies are failing to take advantage of a powerful tool just when public scrutiny of corporate responsibility is at its highest.”
CSR Online Awards – ‘Germany 2009’
· Study of online CSR communications in Germany
· The 30 components of the DAX index
· 76 evaluation criteria
· 100 points maximum
· 42.8 points average score
· 184 replies to survey from CSR professionals in 30 countries
Top 10 in Germany
1. Henkel (67.5 points)
2. Adidas (61)
2. Bayer (61)
4. RWE (60.5)
5. E.ON (60)
6. Basf (59.5)
7. Allianz (58)
8. BMW (57)
9. Siemens (55.5)
9. Volkswagen (55.5)
Lundquist CSR Online Awards Germany 2009 Executive Summary[wpdm_file id=69]
Article published in Handelsblatt (in German only)