Survey: Business Leaders See Brighter Future

According to the Business for Social Responsibility/Cone 2008 Corporate Responsibility in a New World Survey, nearly 9 out of 10 respondents said they believe U.S. President-elect Barack Obama will have a positive impact on advancing the corporate responsibility agenda.

The survey was conducted Nov. 5, 2008, among a sample of corporate responsibility professionals attending the BSR conference. The sample population is comprised of 424 representatives from business, nongovernmental organizations, government, and academia, representing 28 countries. See the survey fact sheet at

Survey respondents outlined the three most important steps the Obama Administration should take to advance corporate responsibility around the world:

•Promote major investments in renewable energy and carbon capture and storage technologies. (67 percent);

•Take measurable steps toward progress on effective, efficient, and fair global climate change mitigation strategies (53 percent); and

•Initiate cross-sector collaboration among business, government, and civil society. (42 percent).

At the same time, 94 percent anticipate increased government regulation of issues related to corporate responsibility, including climate change (86 percent) and corporate governance and financial transparency (83 percent).

Nearly 72 percent expect that there will be increasing demands on business to solve societal problems, and more than half believe business will meet those demands.

Even though one-third of survey respondents say their corporate responsibility budget will decrease due to economic conditions, 77 percent remain optimistic that global business will embrace responsible business practices as part of its core strategy and operations over the next five years. While corporate values are an important driver of corporate responsibility decisions (59 percent), companies today seek reputation benefits (84 percent) and long-term cost savings or efficiencies (75 percent) as return for their corporate responsibility investments.

Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) works with its global network of more than 250 member companies to develop sustainable business strategies and solutions through consulting, research, and cross-sector collaboration.