Bord Bia earns best CSR reputation in Ireland accolade

The Reputations Agency launches Ireland’s first CSR Practice in response to client needs

Ireland CSR RepTrak® study highlights positive impact of CSR on stakeholder support and business performance.

Pictured are Niamh Boyle, Managing Director, The Reputations Agency, and Catherine Walsh, Head of CSR, The Reputations Agency announcing the launch of the agency’s new CSR division

Bord Bia has been named as the organisation with the best Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) reputation in Ireland, according to results of the latest Ireland CSR RepTrak® study, announced by The Reputations Agency today. Kerry Group (2nd), Google (3rd), An Post (4th) and Lidl (5th) occupied the remaining top five positions. This is the fourth annual study of the top CSR reputations in Ireland, ranking 50 of the largest and most visible organisations on the three CSR dimensions of Citizenship, Governance, and Workplace. The independent study was carried out by The Reputations Agency and the global Reputation Institute.

Revealing global and Irish results and trends at a breakfast briefing held at The Merrion Hotel this morning, The Reputations Agency launched Ireland’s first CSR Practice, to be headed up by award-winning communications professional Catherine Walsh. The new CSR Practice will benefit from The Reputations Agency’s dedicated reputation management unit, delivering both local and global insights, which is led by the agency’s Managing Director, Niamh Boyle, the recognised expert on Reputation Management in Ireland.

Launching the new CSR Practice to a senior audience of Heads of CSR, Communications and Corporate Affairs, Niamh Boyle, Managing Director, The Reputations Agency said: “Our new CSR Practice will support our clients in designing and communicating their CSR strategies and initiatives. I am particularly pleased that Catherine Walsh, who has over twenty years’ experience in communications, will lead this important service offering for our clients. She has worked extensively with several of our key clients for the past four years in promoting their corporate values, including many campaigns that have been acknowledged for excellence by both the PR Awards for Excellence and Chambers Ireland CSR Awards. Catherine also manages the Business Journalists Association’s CSR initiative on a pro bono basis on behalf of our agency - the annual BJA Corporate Challenge table quiz - which raises over €50,000 each year for Dublin Simon. Catherine and our team have a huge passion for CSR and this has translated into award winning strategies over the last few years.

“Earning a strong reputation for corporate social responsibility brings both societal and business performance benefits but is a challenge to many organisations who invest considerably but simply don’t get the cut through that they deserve. Over the 14 years we’ve been serving our clients, we’ve built up significant expertise in CSR and, through this new practice, we will collaborate with our clients to build reputations and craft strategic communications, delivering a lasting value to their business.”

Providing insight from the Ireland CSR RepTrak study Niamh revealed “Organisations who lead in CSR typically have five key traits - their leadership is actively engaged in CSR; their CSR strategy aligns with their corporate vision, mission, values and purpose; their CSR agenda is about action, not just about rhetoric; CSR drives their internal and external engagement; and their CSR programmes focus on human and social interest.”

The Ireland CSR RepTrak® survey asked 4,500 members of the general public to rate how well they felt 50 organisations performed across three dimensions and ten attributes of Corporate Social Responsibility; measuring the degree to which they are seen to act responsibly towards their communities and the environment in which they operate, ensuring that that their businesses are responsibly run, and treating their staff well. The online survey also asked members of the public to name examples of what companies do to make them a good corporate citizen. The study found that the more genuine and authentic an organisation is in its activities and its communication, the higher their CSR reputation.

Catherine Walsh, Head of the CSR at The Reputations Agency said: “Companies engage in CSR for a number of reasons, including improving employee engagement and satisfaction, increasing customer loyalty, improving the communities they operate in, and taking responsibility for the quality of their local environment.

“There is a clear business case for top performing companies to implement CSR initiatives. Our latest Ireland CSR RepTrak® study shows that the public’s perceptions of an organisation’s performance in Citizenship, Governance, and Workplace account for 46% of an organisation’s overall reputation score, helping to build trust, admiration, and good feeling towards these organisations. This emotional bond drives support from stakeholders such as consumers, employees, neighbouring communities, the financial community, government, and regulators.”

“Our data shows the business value of building a good reputation for corporate citizenship. While only one in four (28%) of the general public are willing to buy products or services from an organisation with a weak CSR RepTrak® Index, the proportion who are willing to buy from an organisation with a strong CSR index rises to three in four (74%) and as high as nine out of ten (91%) for those with an excellent CSR Index".

“Companies that understand how to create positive perceptions of their CSR programmes can gain the benefit in terms of revenue and good will, providing them with the license to operate in their markets.”



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