Overview of CSR in Denmark
Denmark is one of the leading European countries in CSR. Development of corporate social responsibility in this country is provided by both public and private agencies. Government has an Action Plan for CSR1. Since 2009, large businesses in Denmark are required to report for their CSR work – there is a statutory requirement that large Danish businesses must report existence or non-existence of social responsibility policies in the management review section of the annual financial report.
About Transparency Index (TI)
Transparency Index was developed by the Israeli company Beyond Business and was launched in 2009. Index assesses the company’s website viewed as a main source of information for company’s stakeholders. Assessment criteria are in Annex. Since January 2012 Beyond Business (Israel) and Centre for CSR Development (Ukraine) have partnered in launching International Transparency Index. In 2012 Top 25 companies from 25 countries will be assessed. In January 2012 twenty five (25) largest companies in Denmark, publicly traded on the Copenhagen stock exchange, were reviewed. These companies are of different sectors including pharmacy, building, beer manufacturing, engineering, others.
The companies’ websites were assessed under four categories: 1) Reporting: existence of a report about the company’s social and environmental activities; 2) Content: level of information disclosure according to the CSR key areas; 3) Navigation: easy access to any information about the company’s social and environmental responsibility; 4) Accessibility: potential website accessibility from the perspective of various aspects (language, contact information availability, adaptability for the disabled).
Name of the company
|10||Chr. Hansen Holding||127||63.5|
|15||Vestas Wind Systems||111||55.5|
|19||GN Store Nord||95||47.5|
|22||William Demant Holding||76||38|
Danish Transparency Index results demonstrate average transparency level of 57.3%. The leader among Danish companies is Novo Nordisk covering a wide range of CSR issues on its web site according to four TI dimensions. Moreover, there is a CSR game on Novo Nordisk web-site which is quite an innovative approach for CSR promotion.
Most companies of Top 25 assessed ones are from financial sector (6 out of 25) thus average transparency level for the sector is 49%. Four pharmaceutical companies (including the leader – Novo Nordisk) in the list demonstrate higher transparency level in the sector – 67%. The third sector represented by more than one company is transportation with an average transparency level 63%. Importantly, that in Denmark most companies (17 out of 25) achieve over 50% transparency level which is quite a positive result.
However, financial sector shows the largest difference in transparency level– Danske Bank and Nordea with 83.5% and 80% transparency level accordingly, and Jyske Bank and Sydbank with the poorest results 22.5% and 12% accordingly.
Reporting has the most weight among four Transparency Index dimensions. Web-sites assessment showed that 23 out of 25 leading Danish companies prepare sustainability reports, more than half of them (12 companies) – sustainability reports according to GRI Standard:
2 companies (Novo Nordisk and Novozymes) have published Sustainability Report with Application Level A;
4 companies (Coloplast, Danske Bank, Nordea, TDC) have published Sustainability Report with Application Level B;
6 companies (Carlsberg, Chr. Hansen, D/S Norden, DSV, Lundbeck, Maersk) have published Sustainability Report with Application Level C.
Remaining 11 companies have published non-GRI reports, mostly – UN Global Compact Communications on Progress (CoP). Two companies (Jyske Bank, Sydbank) include information about their CSR activities in their Annual reports, but the disclosure scope is not enough for getting points in TI Reporting dimension.
Danish companies’ web sites have convenient interface for their users with the Navigation level of 83%. It should be noted that less than half (48%) of the Top 25 Danish companies have CSR/sustainability section on the main web-site page. Two companies (FLSmidth, Sydbank) do not have separate CSR page at their web-site.
Accessibility dimension has the lowest result – only 28%. Most companies don’t pay much attention for disclosure of this dimension – none of the companies has maximum points within Accessibility dimension. The most popular component of this dimension among Danish companies is CSR minisite. Only 5 companies have CSR-related videos and just 2 companies (Nordea and Novo Nordisk) have their CSR blogs.
The most highlighted CSR component is business profile – all companies from the Top 25 have information of such kind on their web-sites. Also, practically all companies disclose governance information – 94% transparency level. Moreover, Danish companies pay much attention to the environmental issues (72.5% transparency). Three other CSR/sustainability issues are covered equally on the web-sites: information about employees and workplace – 61%; information about customers, products, marketing – 60%; ethics information – 58%.
The least highlighted issue for the Danish companies is anti-corruption and compliance which account for only 34%.