Construction News

Mon May 17 2021

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Survey confirms the rise of CSR questions

25 May 17 A survey of 150 larger electrical contractors confirms that clients are increasingly demanding to see evidence of corporate social responsibility as a condition of appointment.

A contractor doing its bit for the community
A contractor doing its bit for the community

Almost half of buyer documents (48%) seen by electrotechnical businesses with turnover above £1m now ask about engagement with corporate social responsibility (CSR), according to survey findings from the Electrical Contractors' Association (ECA) and the Considerate Constructors Scheme.

Only 24% said that no buyer document they had encountered had mentioned CSR.  In addition, 53% of firms with turnover above £5m ask their own supply chain about their CSR policy and activity.

Out of all firms with a turnover above £1m, 76% said they are ‘actively engaged with CSR’, while the other 24% said they would consider doing so.

ECA director of business Paul Reeve said: “These ECA survey findings highlight the growing importance of CSR in procurement, and the significance which many businesses now place on ethical and responsible business practices.

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“In addition to better company engagement with buyers and others, continual development in this area can help companies, and the industry within which they operate, to be more attractive to prospective employees.”

The top five CSR issues identified by survey respondents were: the environment (63%), occupational health and safety (55%), employee welfare (50%), ethical behaviour (43%), and supporting local initiatives (37%).

The Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) is seeking to market itself as a CSR consultant, which fits in with its original goal of encouraging building sites to be good neighbours, even though neighbourliness appears way down the list of priorities for contractors.

CCS chief executive Edward Hardy said: “The Considerate Constructors Scheme is in the prime position to support ECA members to embed CSR principles in relation to their important work they do across the construction industry, and we look forward to supporting more organisations to achieve this goal.”

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