PNC Institutional Asset Management Social Responsibility Survey

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Social Responsibility Initiatives taking Hold in For-Profit and Nonprofit Organizations, PNC Survey Shows

Social responsibility (SR) is a high priority for executives across for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations, and serving the social good is perceived as becoming more important – even essential – for most organizations, according to a new survey by PNC Institutional Asset Management.

Key Findings

  • Social Responsibility Matters: The vast majority of executives (92%) rank corporate social responsibility as a priority for their organization with two-thirds (65%) saying that it is a “very high priority.” Both nonprofit and corporate leaders expect to see more SR-related policies in the workplace, with 94% of respondents predicting that social responsibility programs are here to stay. Most executives (91%) also believe that companies and nonprofits can make a real impact on issues like climate change and diversity, equity and inclusion through their social responsibility programs and initiatives.

  • Internal and External Forces Have Impact: When asked what is driving their organization’s commitment to social responsibility overall, executives cited a number of internal and external forces, including direction from senior leadership (92%) and their board of directors (89%), alignment with their organization’s mission (90%), interest from their clients (91%) and the community (90%), and marketplace competition (86%).

  • Top SR Initiatives: Three in four organizations (73%) currently have an environmental sustainability related program or initiative. Two in three organizations (68%) currently have a program or initiative related to DEI. An additional 26% don’t currently have one but are in the planning process.

  • Growing Importance in ESG Investing: Executives also are taking an increasing interest in environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing. While four in 10 (40%) say that their company or organization currently does at least some investing through an ESG lens, nearly as many (39%) aren’t currently engaging in ESG investing but are in the planning process. Further, most executives are optimistic that the growth in ESG investing can have a positive influence on corporate behavior (91%).