CSR Adds ROI to the Bottom Line: New Study

Aug 31, 2015 6:15 PM ET

CSR Adds ROI to the Bottom Line: New Study

The question comes up often these days: does CSR add to the bottom line? A new report concludes yes, definitely, and in ways that can be quantified. The study was initiated by Verizon and the Campbell Soup Company to measure the benefits of their ESG programs. They commissioned IO Sustainability—a strategy, research, and public affairs firm—and Babson College, a business school, to produce the report. Their assignment was to evaluate and put numbers to CSR, sustainability, and ESG issues as they impacted the bottom line. “Project ROI: Defining the Competitive and Financial Advantages of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability” describes potential ROI numbers for large publicly traded companies.  Some of the highlights include an increase in market value by four to six percent; increased valuation for companies with strong stakeholder relationships of 40 to 80 percent; and an increase in revenue of up to 20 percent.

It’s this kind of research that is driving the trend toward integrating CSR, sustainability, and ESG issues into overall business accounting. Those substantial numbers would be a welcome “add” to any business’s bottom line.

I’m John Howell for 3BL Media.

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