Host: CSR-in-Action (Corporate Social Responsibility Awareness and Advancement Initiative)
Venue: CVL, Victoria Island, Lagos
Date: Thursday, 24 April 2014
On Thursday the 24th of April 2014, CSR-in-Action (CiA) launched Nigeria’s first ever ranking of Nigerian businesses on Corporate Social Responsibility, using the MDGs and United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) Principles as yardsticks.
The sophomore edition of The Collective Social Investment Report: Nigeria 2013 featured the nation’s first ever competitive index on corporate social responsibility, the CSR-in-Action Corporate Citizenship Index (3C-Index) on page 191. The event took place at CVL, Victoria Island, Lagos and was graced with notable persons such as Ms. Yemisi Ransome-Kuti, Chairperson of the event, Prof Juan Elegido, Vice Chancellor, Pan Atlantic University and Mr. Daniel Obi, Editor Marketing and Brands, Business Day Newspaper, amongst many others, who were present to witness history.
CSR-in-Action, a social enterprise devoted to the advancement of social ethics, social responsibility and corporate governance in Africa, in a bid to promote its focus areas and objectives, by assessing private sector companies’ approach to CSR implementation, introduced an interesting feature of its second publication: CSR-in-Action Corporate Citizenship Index (3C-Index).
The Report featured ranking, highlighted organisations’ commitment levels to promoting sustainable initiatives in Nigeria, and ranked a total number of 117 private sector companies, using six ranking pillars namely: Human Rights, Anti-corruption, Community Investment, Environment, Labour and Reporting. In the report, the ranking hierarchy was compared side by side with the Business World Newspaper Nigeria’s 2013 Business Ranking by Profit; to show business profit vis a vis their investment back into the society.
Ms. Bekeme Masade, Executive Director, CSR-in-Action, at the launch said that although a poor 10% of ranked organisations submitted requisite data, data was acquired through a myriad of professionally unbiased, primary and secondary research methods.
Furthermore, she said “The index was independently developed, tailored to suit the local milieu and its challenges, totally unbiased and the ranking criteria were well structured and thought-out, using a diverse team of stakeholders. Furthermore, sponsors of the 2013 report were unaware that they would be ranked, on purpose, in order to maintain the integrity of the results”. She also re-iterated that summaries of all the 117 private sector organisations included in the report were free, and those organisations that were not included in the present edition were welcome to send their information for next year’s publication.
The launch of the report also brought about an engaging platform for stakeholders present to interact more on the issues surrounding the report; the need for improved cooperation of organisations in supplying relevant information to the research team and most especially, the need for companies to be held accountable by their stakeholders in respect to their implementation practices were seen as important areas of engagement during the event.
Elegido, playing the critical role of academia in reviewing the report reiterated the general message of the event which was that “visibility will encourage companies to improve social responsibility”. In preceding comments by the report reviewer, Phillip Isakpa, who was ably represented by Daniel Obi, endorsed the report as being viewed as a bible for CSR practitioners.
He further added that “all the contributors of the report approached the issue of CSR from different perspectives but arrived at the same conclusion which is the importance of CSR as a basis for corporate sustainability and economic development.” Other key players of the report also aired similar agreeable views towards the report; Olutobi Onajin, team lead of the research team, expressed continued gratitude to CiA for the opportunity to be part of the project team and gaining insightful knowledge and experience necessary to conduct subsequent unbiased and well thought out researches in the future. He said to the writer “CSR-in-Action’s vision is one everyone should embrace. I am very happy to have worked with such a young and dynamic group of socially-conscious change makers. I am truly humbled, motivated and hopeful”.
Overall and sector winners from the report were revealed and commended during the event. Access Bank came first in the ranking, with the highest overall score of 83.3 percent. The bank impressively outperformed Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC), Exxon Mobil, GTBank, and Procter and Gamble (P&G) who were the top five companies in the ranking in respective rder.
Financial supporters of the Collective Social Investment Report: Nigeria 2013 such as Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC), Pan Ocean Nigeria, Forte Oil, Flour Mills of Nigeria PLC, and Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) were visibly present at the launch event to express their continued support towards the collective mission of CSR-in-Action.
CSR-in-Action pledges to make this ranking an annual event and plans to engage more stakeholders in the data collection phase, in order to get a well-rounded ranking. When asked how the organisation would overcome the challenge of resource-generation for future reports, Ms Masade said “Our concern for the present is making sure that our impact is felt positively. When the time comes, I am positive that there are local and international organisations that will be willing to support our vision”.
————————————————————————————————————————————–The publication will be disseminated to a diversity of stakeholders across sectors both locally and internationally, including United Nations entities, embassies, state governments, fellow private sector practitioners, universities and lots more. Members of the public that are interested in viewing this publication can download a soft copy version at www.csr-in-action.org