In March 2013 oekom research published its Corporate Responsibility Review 2013 – Taking stock of sustainability performance in corporate management. The review asks the question, “Are the global players failing to meet the seven major challenges of sustainability?
The executive summary describes the publication as follows: “Since the international community formulated the goal of a “green economy” at the Rio+20 summit in summer 2012, if not earlier, public attention has increasingly been focusing on the economy’s contribution to global sustainable development. But how are companies tackling the issue of sustainability, and what concrete action are they taking to combat climate change, to protect species diversity or to fight poverty? oekom research looks into this question in its latest Corporate Responsibility Review.
Not nearly enough, would be the simplest way of summing up the key findings of the study. Only one in six (16.7 per cent) of the companies from the global MSCI World equity index which have been rated by oekom research currently demonstrates a good level of commitment to sustainable development. Not a single company has qualified for the “very good” category. Around a third of the companies (31 per cent) can point to at least some initiatives, but sustainability management is still not being integrated systematically and comprehensively in companies’ management systems. Over half the companies (52.3 per cent) have so far taken little or no action in this area.”
The first part of the study describes the oekom rating; assesses corporate responsibility performance in countries and sectors; outlines international standards; and analyzes what individual sectors are doing to promote sustainable development.
The second part of the study covers in-depth the following seven major sustainability challenges: climate protection and adaptation to climate change; protecting species diversity and ecosystems; supply of clean water; forest protection; combating poverty; demographic change; and corruption.