The index examines organizations across nine industry divisions: light, heavy, and advanced manufacturing, food and beverage, construction, wholesale, transport, information and communication technology (ICT), and finance, legal and consulting. The index was built using EcoVadis scores, which are based on 21 CSR criteria across four themes: environment, labor practices and human rights, business ethics and sustainable procurement. Scores are based on a scale of zero to 100. About five percent of organizations score above 64 which represents “advanced” to “outstanding” performance, while companies with scores above 45 are considered “engaged.” Scores of 25 to 44 represent medium risk, and scores below 25 are considered high risk.
In addition to industry divisions, scores were analyzed across five geographic regions and two size groups – small and medium sized businesses (companies with 26-999 employees) and large organizations (1,000 or more employees). Selected highlights from EcoVadis’ research include:
- Business ethics is the most improved CSR theme globally, with ICT the highest scoring industry in this theme (45.2). Companies across all categories made a marked improvement in business ethics (global score of 41.2), especially in fighting corruption and bribery and information security issues.
- Global environmental performance dipped slightly, from 45.4 to 45 overall. Small and medium food and beverage companies (43.9) and large advanced manufacturing companies (49.6) were top performers in the environmental category.
- Labor practices and human rights initiatives are still going strong. Small and medium food and beverage companies (47.7) and large ICT companies (43.3) were the highest performers in this theme.
- Sustainable procurement practices need more attention. Small and medium food and beverage companies were top performers in sustainable procurement practices (42.1), but overall this theme lagged behind in performance, posing risks for industries across the board.
- Top performing industries are adopting best practices and regularly measuring progress:
- Small and medium sized food and beverage companies were the best scoring division globally, with an overall CSR score of 46.8.
- Advanced manufacturing companies were performance leaders for the large size group with an overall score of 44.2.
- European companies consistently outperformed other regions across all four themes, with large companies scoring 49.5 and small and medium businesses 48.4. In comparison, large North American companies scored 40.8 and small and medium businesses 44.3.
- CSR improvements: Among companies who were reassessed a second or third time, over 60 percent in most regions improved their score, and roughly 15 to 17 percent maintained their scores. Small and medium sized North American companies were third worst (after China) on this measure with only 49 percent improving their score – yet 26 percent held steady.