Bharat Petroleum, Maruti Udyog top in CSR : TNS Report

New Delhi: Bharat Petroleum and Maruti Udyog rank highest in corporate social responsibility (CSR), according to the inaugural study by TNS Automotive, the world's largest automotive research company and provider of custom research and analysis. TNS Automotive is a leader in political and social polling and is also a major supplier of consumer panel, media intelligence and TV and radio audience measurement services. It is active in 70 countries.

The TNS Automotive Global Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) provides an in-depth understanding of global perceptions of the general public towards automotive corporations. The report is based on responses from over 16,000 consumers in 16 major automotive markets. The TNS Global CSR study will be conducted on an annual basis to provide the industry with the most up-to-date information on the general public's perceptions of their CSR performance and the goodwill derived from their activities.

According to Ravi Shankar, senior vice president, TNS India, "In a country where a car is the dream possession of every middle class person, Maruti has changed the lives of millions by making their dreams come true. Consumers rate Maruti highly for creating jobs for the country, producing products that improve quality of life, and ensuring fair prices. These are issues close to the heart of every Indian — a company that generates employment and is fair to consumers."

Shankar continues: "In the case of BPCL, it has been at the forefront assuring quality and quantity ('Pure for Sure' branded fuel stations) to its millions of customers. Its communication and visible steps in this area to build consumer confidence has been highly valued and appreciated by the general public. Consumers rate BPCL highly for creating a sustainable future, improving quality of life, and making environment friendly products."

The 2006 Global Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) study was conducted in March and April across 16 countries to understand the general public's perception of the automotive sector in regards to compliance and contribution towards corporate, social, environmental, and philanthropic activities. Consumers were asked to rate corporations from the passenger car, commercial vehicle, motorcycle, tire, and oil sectors.

Among the global automotive corporations, BMW, Honda, Toyota, and Volvo Trucks ranked highest for corporate social responsibility in two or more markets. BMW rated highest in Spain and Italy; Honda in US, UK, and Indonesia, Toyota in Japan, Korea, and Thailand, and Volvo Trucks in Sweden and Netherlands.

Other global market leaders were Shell in China, Michelin in France, Porsche in Germany, Nissan in Mexico, and Petronas in Malaysia.

The study shows that consumers across the world are very likely to accept or reject a corporation based on its reputation for social and environmental responsibility. In India, eight out of 10 consumers indicated that they have purchased a product or service specifically because it was produced in a responsible, ethical, or environmentally friendly way.

Shankar explains, "These findings clearly show the values that are important to consumers in India. Corporations that realise this and strengthen their CSR activities will benefit from the goodwill they will generate with consumers in this market."