By Bahar Gidwani
About two months ago, CSRHub quietly added links to the CSR websites for a large minority of the companies we track. In a forthcoming update, we’ll be adding more of these links and we will soon have them available for almost half of the around 5,000 companies we track.
You can see these links (when we have them) at the top of our company page—right underneath the main website for each company. (We have corporate websites for almost every company in our database.) We also provide a company description, address information, and in many cases, a contact phone number. (This link will show you the page for Volkswagen AG.)
At present, all of this information is available free—although it is so valuable that we are considering only sharing it with our subscribers. The data can be exported (into an XML sheet) by those who have our “professional subscription”—which costs $89 per month or $799 per year. The data can also be accessed using our RESTful API.
There is no standard URL name, description, or data contents for these sites. Nevertheless, we were pleased to see that so many companies have built these separate CSR and sustainability-related areas. It was interesting to see that the “penetration” of these sites is highest within healthcare and finance:
We were even more surprised to see that the percentage of US companies who have CSR-areas on their websites was higher than that for European companies. Europe leads in most aspects of CSR—this seems to be one place where the US holds its own.
We were also pleased to see that words such as “CSR,” “social,” “responsibility,” and “sustainability” are heavily used in the URLs of these sites. After all, we chose to name our business CSRHub and our “tag line” is “Sustainability ratings.” Other terms such as “green,” “eco,” and “ESG” did not show up as often. (To read more about the naming of corporate social responsibility and sustainability read this past CSRHub blog post).
We are already being asked if we plan to add a directory of CSR managers and executives. So far, we have refrained from doing this, as we have been concerned that listing email addresses and phone numbers for these people could flood their desks with spam. However, we have been working closely with a number of major professional organizations in the CSR space, including SharedXpertise (publisher of CR Magazine), The International Society of Sustainability Practitioners (ISSP), 2DegreesNetwork, Net Impact, and Sustainable Life Media. Hopefully, there will be a way that we can all work together and eventually build networks that will allow those interested in sustainability to more easily reach each other.
Bahar Gidwani is a Cofounder and CEO of CSRHub. Formerly, he was the CEO of New York-based Index Stock Imagery, Inc, from 1991 through its sale in 2006. He has built and run large technology-based businesses and has experience building a multi-million visitor Web site. Bahar holds a CFA, was a partner at Kidder, Peabody & Co., and worked at McKinsey & Co. Bahar has consulted to both large companies such as Citibank, GE, and Acxiom and a number of smaller software and Web-based companies. He has an MBA (Baker Scholar) from Harvard Business School and a BS in Astronomy and Physics (magna cum laude) from Amherst College. Bahar races sailboats, plays competitive bridge, and is based in New York City.