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Some surprises in new UK CSR index

UK – There are some perhaps unexpected names – including oil, chemicals and mining companies – topping the first UK corporate social responsibility index launched today.

Among the top ranking companies in the new index are Shell International, BP, Dow Chemical and Rio Tinto. They are alongside names such as retailers Marks & Spencer and Tesco in the “first quintile” of companies who scored over 82%.

The index is published by Business in the Community and included the participation of 122 companies, of which 53 are members of the benchmark FTSE-100 index.

The minister for corporate social responsibility Stephen Timms said: “'I am delighted to see the level of participation in the first Corporate Responsibility Index. Companies in the UK are beginning to understand the business benefits of socially responsible behaviour. However more needs to be done to raise awareness and trust around these activities.”

Business in the Community said the index has the backing of the National Association of Pension Funds and the Association of British Insurers.

David Varney, the chairman of Business in the Community and of phone firm mmO2, said: “'The first Corporate Responsibility Index demonstrates to stakeholders that
companies are taking the lead in promoting awareness and public reporting. It will help increase trust in business and transparency in business performance.”

The top 20: 3M, BT Group, Marks & Spencer, ScottishPower, AstraZeneca, Carillion, mmO2, Shell, Aviva, Dow Chemical, National Grid Transco, Tesco, BAA, ISIS, Rio Tinto, Unilever, BP, J Sainsbury, Safeway, Waste Recycling Group.

The bottom 20: 3i, Amersham, British Sky Broadcasting, Brixton, Capita Group, Croda International, De La Rue, Expro International, Geest, International Power, GWR, Meggitt, Mersey Docks, Reuters, RMC, Taylor Woodrow, Trinity Mirror, United Business Media, WH Smith, WPP.

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