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November 13, 2008
Survey Finds That Corporate Responsibility Professionals Greet an Obama Administration with Optimism
    by Robert Kropp

Conference attendees believe that better corporate responsibility could have lessened severity of fiscal crisis, and expect increased regulation of CR issues.

The annual conference hosted by Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), a global network of more than 250 member companies that advocates the development of sustainable business strategies and solutions, could not have come at a more auspicious time. The conference opened on November 4, the date of the election of Barack Obama to the US Presidency.

After the election results were in, BSR conducted a survey entitled "BSR/Cone 2008 Corporate Responsibility in a New World Survey", in which 424 corporate responsibility professionals were asked to "gauge their attitudes and expectations on issues related to responsible leadership."

According to 63% of the survey respondents, "the current economic turmoil would not have been as severe if businesses had had more effective corporate responsibility programs and practices." In light of this, it is not surprising that 94% of respondents anticipate increased government regulation of issues related to corporate responsibility, including climate change (86%) and corporate governance and financial transparency (83%).

86% of respondents believe that an Obama Administration "will have a positive impact on advancing the corporate responsibility agenda." Asked to name the most important leadership role the president elect should play to advance the CR agenda, 67% answered that promotion of major investments in renewable energy and carbon capture and storage technologies is the most important; 53% believe that the new administration should take measureable steps toward progress on effective, efficient, and fair global climate change mitigation strategies; and 42% opted for the initiation of cross-sector collaboration among business, government, and civil society.

"The incoming Obama Administration can chart a more effective path to long-term economic recovery by embracing sustainability," said Aron Cramer, President and CEO of BSR.


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