March 28, 2005

CBSR marks 10th year with call for increased corporate adoption of CSR principles

Canadian Business for Social Responsibility (CBSR) marked its tenth anniversary on March 17 by delivering a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report card for corporate Canada.

"We've got a lot to celebrate, but we also have a lot to work on," said CBSR president and CEO Adine Mees. "We are still lacking broad CSR leadership and uptake in Canada. Currently, of the 1400 UN Global Compact signatories, only 15 are Canadian companies. Only 13 Canadian companies are listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability index and there are even fewer on the FTSE4Good Index.

"If I were writing the report card," Mees continued, "it would say something like 'excellent efforts by a few, broader uptake required by corporate Canada in general.'"

Mees' comments were noteworthy in view of the corporate social responsibility performance of CBSR members. This year, CBSR members scored the highest in eight out of 13 sector categories in Report on Business magazine's second annual CSR rankings. A total of 27 CBSR members made the rankings, representing 25% of all companies examined.

Practising what it preaches, CBSR is behind a number of substantial CSR initiatives. Current advisory projects include:

the Prince of Wales' Seeing is Believing program, a collaborative project involving community and non-profit organizations and the federal government to further develop social, economic and environmental capacity and assets in disadvantaged communities across the country;

this year's Aboriginal Engagement conference, which took place in February in Vancouver;

the Defining the Sustainability Premium project, in which CBSR, together with Alcan, BC Hydro and an international panel of experts, is recruiting corporate partners to participate in developing a tool and methodology for companies to integrate sustainability into existing decision-making processes and to quantify the added value-or sustainability premium-derived as a result and

the SME program, an initiative designed to introduce small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to CSR and encourage those companies already engaged in CSR to continue adopting socially and environmentally responsible business practices.

Founded in 1995 and based in Vancouver, CBSR is a non-profit, business-led, national membership organization of innovative Canadian companies working to improve their social, environmental and financial performance.

More information is available from Andrew Frank at CBSR, 604/323-2714, E-mail andrew@cbsr.ca, Web site www.cbsr.ca.

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