Plans announced for CSR benchmarking index

Plans
to launch a benchmarking index that will allow employers to compare and
contrast policies on corporate social responsibility have been announced.

The
Index of Corporate Responsibility will be set up by Business in the Community
to help FTSE 100 and 250 companies improve performance by comparing management
processes and performance with others in the sector in key areas of workplace
and human rights, marketplace, environment and the community.

Derek
Higgs, senior advisor in the UK for UBS Warburg, who helped develop the index,
said: "Responsible companies are trying harder than ever to determine what
they should be measuring and reporting so they can improve and communicate
their impact on society.

"City
analysts and fund managers want companies to integrate reporting on strategy,
risk management and performance covering financial environmental and social
issues.

"We
are meeting these needs by providing companies with a process to benchmark and
systematically report their management processes and performance."

The
index will be up and running in 2003.

Business
in the Community has also set up a website to provide a one-stop shop where
stakeholders can view companies’ measurement and reporting of their actual
performance in the same key areas.

By Ben Willmott

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