Introduction

About this Survey

This report provides a snapshot of current trends in CSR activity and reporting across the construction sector.  It is a useful reflection of the current state of CSR reporting for audiences who take an interest in the subject. Construction clients, corporate stakeholders, academics and students, and policy makers will also find the report useful.

Introduction

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is not a new concept in construction. However, legislation covering environmental, social and ethical issues have helped to focus minds towards integrating CSR into business models.

The Social Value Act, for example, requires public sector organisations to consider the social, economic and environmental value that can be added to a project. The Modern Slavery Act requires companies turning over more than £36 million pa to produce an annual slavery and human trafficking statement.  More widely construction companies will need to ensure their policies and procedures are in good shape to comply with contractual arrangements, and meet the demands of their clients to demonstrate transparency.

The continued focus on climate change at an international level has seen major economies commit to keeping global warning below 2 degrees. Given the impacts construction creates we need to make a concerted effort to contribute to mitigate our impacts.

But true CSR goes beyond legal obligation. It is about having a corporate conscience to ensure compliance with the law, ethical standards and national and international norms and go beyond compliance to deliver social good. It entails recognising and addressing the needs of employees, communities, supply chain and regulators. It is about being a responsible business.

Proactive approaches to CSR can help firms improve their appeal to a wider pool of talent and address skills gaps and skills shortages by attracting new entrants. Corporate values influence millennials’ choice of employer, being as important as pay and working conditions. Over half of respondents to a PwC survey said they are attracted to employers because of their CSR position and 56% would consider leaving an employer that didn’t have the values they expected.

Better CSR practices can also make good business sense.  They help to build company reputation, increase productivity, aid employee recruitment and retention, increase market share and provide a competitive edge.