A total of 122 companies participated in the study, ranging from companies that have been engaged in corporate responsibility for a number of years to those at the start of the process.
Stephen Timms, minister for corporate social responsibility, said, "Companies in the U.K. are beginning to understand the business benefits of socially responsible behavior."
The new index is a business tool for companies to evaluate their own performance and to compare it with their peers. It enables them to assess the extent to which strategy and values are translated into responsible practice throughout their organization, in four key areas (community, environment, marketplace and workplace), to identify gaps in performance and make improvements.
Results are presented in quintiles, each listing one-fifth of all the companies participating in alphabetical order, without identifying actual scores.
Companies in the first quintile of the listing, which all scored over 82 percent, are:
Marks & Spencer
Dow Chemical Company
Waste Recycling Group
The average overall score achieved by participants was 67.87 percent. In these areas, environment is the furthest advanced (71 percent), followed by workplace (67.5 percent), community (nearly 60 percent) and marketplace (54.5 percent).
Business in the Community (www.bitc.org.uk) is an organization in the U.K. of 700 member companies. Its purpose is to support business in continually improving its positive impact on society.