Corporate citizenship remains priority

Despite an economy that has eaten away at corporate profits, most U.S. companies are making no major changes to their corporate-citizenship efforts, says a new report from Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship and the Hitachi Foundation.

Among the minority that say they will change their practices, almost four in 10 plan to reduce their giving, over a quarter plan layoffs and two in 10 will reduce spending on research and development for sustainable products.

Most of the 756 executives surveyed for the report say the corporate sector should be more involved in addressing major societal issues, with almost two in three saying businesses should step up their involvement in the health-care debate.

Seven in 10 companies say the driver behind their corporate-citizenship involvement is boosting their reputation, with an equal number saying it fits their corporate culture and values.

“This survey shows that business leaders understand that corporate citizenship entails great responsibilities as well as extensive rights,” Barbara Dyer, president and CEO of the Hitachi Foundation, says in a statement.

Large companies are more likely to maintain their corporate-citizenship efforts during the recession than their smaller counterparts, but large companies are mole like to lay off staff than smaller companies.

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