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SOMERS, NY - 30 Jun 2008: New IBM (NYSE: IBM) consulting offerings can help clients understand and improve their societal impact -- from carbon management to labor practices -- increasing their competitive position and appeal to consumers and other interested parties.
"Operating a business ethically and environmentally is not only a requirement today, but also an opportunity -- companies that demonstrate they adhere to the highest societal expectations of conduct have a significant advantage in attracting consumers, investors and talent," said George Pohle, IBM vice president and global leader for business strategy consulting. "But in order to do that, companies must be able to accurately assess how well they meet those expectations now, and where and how to make improvements."
The ability to meet these expectations has become critical, as people are watching company behavior more closely than ever on a whole range of issues -- the environment, fair wages and workplace safety, international trade, product safety and reliability, philanthropy, and more. Empowered by the Internet, they are equipped to organize and act quickly to reward or punish brands depending on what they observe -- deciding what to buy, who to work for, where to invest, and how business should be regulated.
IBM's Corporate Social Responsibility Benchmarking Utility helps clients assess:
The benchmarking utility is based on data from a survey by IBM of c-level executives at more than 250 companies worldwide. The study, titled "Attaining Sustainable Growth Through Corporate Social Responsibility," shows that 68 percent of the executives surveyed see CSR as an opportunity to grow revenue and 54 percent believe it gives them a competitive advantage.
But the report also shows some significant gaps in how companies are approaching CSR -- more than three quarters of the executives surveyed admitted they don't understand their customers' concerns about CSR, and only 17 percent are even asking them. This indicates that many companies need to analyze and improve their CSR practices to ensure they line up with what customers and other key stakeholders expect.
In another survey conducted by IBM of more than 1,100 CEOs worldwide, the majority of respondents said they plan to increase their investments in CSR activities by 25 percent over the next three years. The key for them is to ensure they are investing in the right programs, policies and practices to meet the expectations of their stakeholders, and that is what these new consulting offerings from IBM are designed to help them do.
Based on what the benchmarking utility reveals about a client, IBM can use its CSR Strategy Assessment and Roadmap offering to help it improve its business processes and operations, address any shortcomings, and integrate CSR into its overall strategies and objectives.
IBM can then assist clients in a range of CSR areas, including:
This is an example of IBM's focus on higher value services and innovative solutions to address client needs.
For more information about IBM's global survey on CSR, go to: www.ibm.com/gbs/csrstudy
To learn more about IBM's strategy and change offerings please click here.
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