How Well Are Your Peers Doing in Supply Chain CSR? EcoVadis Releases New Report

If you’re a small or medium-sized construction company, congratulations! Chances are you’re doing pretty well in your supply chain corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. Likewise if you’re a large company in the financial, legal, consulting and advertising markets.

On Tuesday, EcoVadis released its first annual Global CSR Risk and Performance Index, which evaluated 20,400 companies according to 21 criteria related to the environment, labor practices and human rights, fair business ethics and sustainable procurement.

Each company received a score on a scale of zero to 100, with 50 representing standard CSR coverage and 100 representing exceptional. Although CSR performance is improving on the whole, the average score was around 44, which shows that there is still work to be done.

For this report, EcoVadis divided the companies into small/medium (999 or fewer employees) and large (1,000 or more employees), by three world regions (Africa, Middle East and Asia [AMEA]; Europe; and the Americas) and by industry.

Companies based in Europe tended to fare the best. On average, large Europe-based companies received a cumulative score of 49, compared to companies based in the Americas (40.5) and AMEA (38.2). Similarly, small and medium-sized Europe-based companies scored 47.2 on average, compared to those in the Americas (42.2) and AMEA (39.1).

The chart below provides a breakdown of how companies performed by region. Green represents a score of 45 or higher; orange represents a score between 25 and 44; and red represents 24 or lower.

Source: EcoVadis

How Different Industries are Faring

CSR risks in the construction sector can be significant, including everything from environmental pollution to child labor to corruption. However, small and medium-sized businesses are doing relatively well with a CSR score of 47, up from 42.2 in 2015, and they received the highest labor practices and human rights score (50.3). The score for large companies is 42.1.

The food and beverage industry face similar risks. (Take for example the human rights and environmental controversies associated with Nutella.) Small and medium companies fare better, with an average score of 46.2. Large companies scored 41.4, down from 44.2 in 2015.

For the transport industry, the average score was 43.5 for small or medium companies and 41.6 for large ones. Environmental risks naturally play a big part in these companies’ CSR initiatives, as well as worker health and safety.

For companies in the industries of publishing, telecommunications or computer programming, risks related to business ethics (think data breaches or customer confidentiality) figure more prominently than environmental concerns. The average CSR score was around 45 for companies of all sizes.

The finance, legal, consulting and advertising industries tend to be exposed to business ethics-related risks, such as corruption or bribery. Large companies received a score of 46.2, up from 44.3 in 2015, and small or medium-sized companies received 45.2.

Suppliers of primary raw materials, all of which were small or medium companies, received an average score of 40.5, up from 38.3 in 2015. Risks related to the environment and human labor are front and center for these companies.

Finally, the scores for manufacturing companies hover around 44.5, which marks an improvement from 2015, when scores were closer to 42. EcoVadis further divided manufacturing companies by light, heavy and advanced.

Light manufacturing refers to activities that do not necessarily pose significant risks to the environment or humans, such as manufacturing clothing, furniture or paper products. In contrast, companies categorized under heavy manufacturing often work with hazardous raw materials. Advanced manufacturing includes production of electronics, equipment and domestic appliances.

We recommend checking out the report for yourself, especially if you want to see more detailed information on how your industry performs on specific CSR initiatives.

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