New survey, The Civic 100, encourages CSR of LA’s largest companies

By Lindsey Rowe, LA Charity Examiner

June 21, 2012
The National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC) and Points of Light have announced The Civic 100, a new survey to recognize and rank S&P 500 companies making a difference in communities. Los Angeles and the LA–metro area are home to several S&P 500 companies that have made an effort to align their social and economic goals to improve their long–term business prospects and promote greater social good through charitable gifts as well as through the use of the companies' core business competencies to improve the communities where they do business.

According to NCoC, there has been a notable gap in research to measure and evaluate the real world impact of these initiatives. The Civic 100 seeks to fill that void by rigorously measuring and evaluating corporate citizenship and providing consumers and employees alike with a way to objectively evaluate companies' commitment to community engagement. Their goal for the survey is to not only recognize corporations' existing efforts, but also encourage more civic behavior by creating a clear roadmap for companies seeking to become better stewards of their community.

“Corporate responsibility has become a key driver for companies in employee recruitment and retention and brand loyalty,” said Senator Bob Graham, NCoC Board Member. “ The Civic 100 is a first–of–its kind initiative to recognize companies that lead, empower, and inspire the communities they serve as well as create a roadmap for businesses seeking to become better community leaders.”

“The business sector plays a critical role in promoting civic engagement. The Civic 100 will not only acknowledge corporate leadership in service, but encourage companies to find new ways to build and strengthen their communities,” said Neil Bush, Board Chairman, Points of Light. “The Civic 100 will showcase innovation, honor those serving as stewards of their community and create an incentive to create change.”

The Civic 100 isn't the first effort to track corporate social responsibility, but it is the first initiative to implement a scientific approach to measuring and evaluating corporate civic engagement. A recent CSR Perception Survey conducted by Penn Schoen & Berland found that 40 percent of respondents were willing to take a pay cut to work at a socially responsible company, and 72 percent would sacrifice spending or salary to support corporate social responsibility initiatives. The same survey found that 75 percent of consumers say corporate responsibility is important to them, and they are more likely to purchase products or services from a company after reading its responsibility agenda.

Bloomberg News will serve as The Civic 100's media partner in this endeavor. “As a company committed to global sustainability, Bloomberg is proud to partner with NCoC and Points of Light to produce The Civic 100 survey,” said Curtis Ravenel, Global Head of Bloomberg L.P.'s Sustainability Group. “Corporations are increasingly adopting business practices that reflect their commitment to community engagement, yet there has been little formal recognition of these efforts.”

The Civic 100 survey is available to S&P 500 companies at now through August 17. Responses will be used to generate an overall composite score, resulting in a rank ordered 1–to–100 list to be published in Bloomberg Businessweek in mid–November.
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