CSR grows fast in AustraliaJune 2009
The number of people employed in corporate responsibility in Australia is expected to increase significantly in the next year, reports the country’s largest ever CSR survey.
The State of CSR report, published last month by the Australian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility (ACCSR), analysed responses in October and November 2008 from 515 managers representing 352 organizations.
Altogether 28 per cent of responding organizations said they would create one or more new posts in 2009, leading the ACCSR to predict that the number of corporate responsibility management roles will grow by up to 20 per cent this year.
However, for people hoping to enter the profession, the jobs are still largely ‘hidden’ – half of those employed are internally recruited and another 18 per cent use personal networks to find posts. Only 16 per cent got their positions through a recruitment company or by answering an advertisement.
Echoing the latest UK-based CSR salary survey, published earlier this year (EP10, issue 10, p7), the Australian study found CSR practitioners are more likely to be women. They are typically well-educated and aged between 26 and 44. Most have worked in CSR for fewer than five years, and operate within small teams with modest budgets. Most (59 per cent) earn A$60,000 ($46,600, £29,400) or more. The best salaries are in mining and property development.
ACCSR managing director Leeora Black said only ten per cent of respondents intended to cut CSR budgets, a quarter felt they would spend the same as last year, and a third expected to spend more. ‘The rate of growth in CSR budgets has slowed this year, as has employment growth, but it is all still positive,’ she said.
The study also rated companies on a number of CSR indicators, including stakeholder engagement, ethical business behaviour, integration of environmental issues into business decision-making, and the effects of CSR on reputation, competitive advantage, risk reduction and conflict avoidance.
The Australian listed companies judged to have the strongest CSR capabilities were, in alphabetical order: Bendigo Bank, Lihir Gold (mining), National Australia Bank, Rio Tinto, Telstra (telecoms), Transurban (infrastructure) and Westpac Banking Corporation.
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