Gap between words and actions on corporate environmental behaviour

Research carried out in conjunction with the Institute of Directors has revealed that there is a considerable gap between the words and actions of company directors where socially responsible behaviour is concerned.

The survey of 500 members of the Institute of Directors, carried out by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), found that 62% of directors think that the environmental impact of customers or suppliers is important in making commercial decisions. At the same time, however, only 27% collect information in their company’s greenhouse gas emissions, and only 28% have policies for reducing emissions.

There is also limited social and environmental reporting (see related story). Eighty-one percent of organisations do not report to the public on their social and environmental impacts; and only 33% of those organisations that do produce reports publish information on their greenhouse gas emissions.

The study also included the reality and rhetoric of equal opportunities within companies, with 73% of directors stating that their companies have a policy of promoting equal opportunities, but only half collect relevant information on the issue from within their companies.

“Our survey shows that most company directors support promoting equal opportunities and making their organisation greener,” said Ella Joseph, IPPR Research Fellow and author of the report. “However, there remains a real gap between the rhetoric and reality of responsible company behaviour.”

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