New research shows six in 10 East Midlands businesses continue CSR activities despite rising costs

Global warming and climate change concept. Half world of polluted and green environment background.

Dr Elaine Conway, Small Business Engagement Coordinator at Loughborough Business School, together with the East Midlands Chamber, have found six in 10 East Midlands businesses have continued corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities despite the rising cost of living.

According to this new report from the East Midlands Chamber in partnership with Loughborough University and the University of Derby, organisations are attempting to maintain or increase their CSR activities in the coming year. During 2022, 60% of businesses committed to CSR activity, while 42% indicated their plans to increase charitable and community activities over the next 12 months.

The report also illustrates CSR engagement by region, industrial sector and organisation size, as well as highlighting the barriers and motivations behind CSR activity. Furthermore, the report displays the different types of CSR activities undertaken by businesses in the East Midlands, showing charitable activities are most popular, while staff activities such as volunteering are the least popular.

The key findings of the report include:

  • 83% of large firms engage in CSR while engagement decreases for medium-sized firms (73%), small businesses (66%) and microbusinesses (47%).
  • 32% of all companies suggest a lack of resources as the main barrier to greater adoption.
  • Smaller organisations are more community focused instead of viewing CSR as more critical to their strategy.

Dr Conway encourages CSR regardless of factors such as industry, organisation size or location, stating:

It’s important we now look to support more firms to join their peers in CSR engagement – not only because of the community benefits but because it makes good business sense – and we will be looking at how we can support this via positive storytelling, toolkits and training.