Mehlhoffer Tamás

Do companies really know how to do good? – corporate social responsibility research by Scale Impact and the Hungarian PR Association

The majority of domestic (mainly large) companies spend more or the same amount as this year on CSR activities in the coming year, despite the economic crisis. Also, the majority believe that the role of social responsibility in the life of companies will increase, according to a joint CSR research by Scale Impact and the Hungarian PR Association (the research report is produced by Region Media).

In light of this, it is surprising that CSR spending is relatively low for 60% of companies, between HUF 1-15 million. Only 10% of respondents donate or spend more than HUF 100 million and HUF 200 million on social and sustainability programs. 63% of respondents already have or are preparing a CSR strategy, but surprisingly, 12% of large companies do charity without a strategy or plan – this would be unthinkable in Western Europe. Only just over a third of companies, 36%, measure the impact of their activities.

“This points to the fact that there is still room for improvement in the domestic social responsibility culture. For example, one of the most advanced forms of conscious CSR activity is when a company cooperates with one or more non-profit organizations that work for goals that are important to the company,” says Gábor Lévai, co-founder and CEO of Scale Impact.  81% of companies would spend on developing non-profits, yet only 50% regularly work with an NGO.

Companies prefer to spend on the following topics:

  1. Representation of social affairs
  2. Local Community Affairs
  3. Reducing environmental impact
  4. Supporting community events/support for local education
  5. Supporting local government or other public institutions for financial, tangible assets

Topics that companies find relevant:

  1. Social and economic development
  2. Education and training
  3. Environmental and animal protection
  4. Health, well-being

Among the motivations for CSR activity, at the forefront is workforce retention, that is, the opinion of employees about the social efforts of the company, increasing brand value and employer branding. However, it is not worth using these activities for sales promotions as 90% of survey respondents agree.

The research was conducted by completing an online questionnaire and conducting in-depth interviews with CSR executives. Among its respondents, larger or specifically large companies were in the majority: 45% had revenues of more than HUF 20 billion, and another 16% had a turnover of more than HUF 1-20 billion.

The research report presents good practices as an aspect of the social responsibility of Biotech USA, Decathlon, Foxpost, Szerencsejáték Zrt. and Wolt Hungary.

“Corporate social responsibility is often one of the tasks of the communication department of companies, which is why the Hungarian PR Association considered research important,” adds András Sztaniszláv, president of the organization. “One of the most interesting findings is that there is no consensus that companies are actually doing something for society or just communicating about it rather than taking action.”

Companies with outstanding CSR

We asked the survey respondents to name a company whose CSR activities have been considered outstanding in the past year.

Multiple mentions:
Decathlon, Magyar Telekom, Szerencsejáték Zrt., Tesco, Vodafone Hungary

One mention:
Auchan, BP, Budapest Airport, Canon Chemplex, Duna-Dráva Cement, E.ON, Lego, Magnet Bank, Market Építő, Mészáros és Mészáros, MVÜK, Nestlé, Praktiker, Richter, Samsung, Spar

The report of our research entitled “Do companies really know how to do good?” with graphs can be downloaded in pdf format from here (only in Hungarian): scaleimpact.hu/csrkutatas

About Scale Impact

The social enterprise offers partnerships and marketplaces to three players to achieve a collective and independent social impact:

  • Companies find impact organizational partners to make their employee brand more valuable and their CSR activities more targeted,
  • provides practical knowledge to impact organisations – nonprofits and social enterprises – to make them more professional, flexible and resilient,
  • in addition, along with the methodology and quality assurance, it offers job opportunities for professionals who develop impact organizations.