The BACS Social Index is a simple tool highlighting responsible businesses in New Zealand

The BACS Good Business Egg Awards takes businesses recognised by New Zealand communities for good Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activity through a process of evaluation to determine who comes up the best. 

How the BACS Social Index began.

 

The BACS Good Business Egg Awards work as an independent process capturing activity that is acknowledged by communities as being great CSR initiatives, rather than business promotions.

Business activities are categorised into 3 areas: Education and Skills; Health and Wellbeing; and Community Empowerment.

This process identifies what is considered successful by community standards of CSR in New Zealand, providing real, grassroots commentary on the complex nature of CSR, made sometimes more complicated by some businesses, with slick marketing messages and poor reporting.

Having hosted 4 years’ worth of Awards we noticed the same businesses bubbling to the top each year. Using this process has built up a story about how each business’s philosophy and culture supports positive and effective CSR activity that is valued by the communities they partner with.

How businesses get on the BACS Social Index.

 

The BACS Social Index simply uses the scores collected from the BACS Good Business Egg Awards by eighteen community leader panelists.

The breadth of the panelists’ expertise ranges from University directors, CEO’S of charities and general managers of community organisations throughout New Zealand.

The combined results are aggregated over a span of 2 years to show the business profiles on the BACS Social Index and how they are maintaining their corporate responsibility in the eyes of the community.

At this time data collected and assessed on what and how each business is investing in New Zealand communities is the priority. It does not complete an in-depth analysis of CSR inputs and outcomes.

Each business on the BACS Social Index is identified with a score placement with potential top marks being 10, but participants may share their spot with a number of other businesses.

The results will be updated at the annual BACS Good Business Egg Awards and will publish the top 30 businesses each year. Any business can request information on where they sit in the 100 listing.

The BACS Social Index Graph 2016.

 

 Click on ‘full screen’ to see greater detail.

Commentary on the BACS Social Index Top 30 businesses 2016.

 

A general awareness tells us that many businesses are not reporting their community investment well, despite good work. Others may be ‘humble-bragging’ using social issues as a marketing tool that demeans good CSR and prevents real social issues to be addressed.

Good activities need good reporting which will assist in good acknowledgment of business practise for both community and business.

Within this commentary of the BACS Social Index we have made brief comments on each business with score numbers in brackets and a couple of others noted for interest.  All winners and shortlisted candidates are entitled to a BACS Review of their performance after the BACS Good Business Egg Awards.

The Warehouse (9) winner of two previous Awards is top of the tree for 2016 and highly regarded for their commitment to community but one of their own family, Noel Leeming (4), was almost ‘missing in action.’

Within the financial sector there were big hits throughout the last 4 years with ANZ (7), whose validated reporting this year on their financial literacy work with the Solomon Group, was highly commended.

Westpac (7) scored well with zero-bragging and delicate work with their dementia-friendly banking. ASB (6) followed with some effort but lacked good-enough reporting, and BNZ (4) missed the top 30 altogether.

Programmes by 2016 winner KPMG (8) and 2015 winner Deloitte (8) were highly regarded as they both pleased judges with excellent local reporting, a factor that too many businesses had not achieved.

Agri-companies surprised us as 3 appeared suddenly over the last 2 years, this included Fonterra (9) who swept the boards last year and then came back in 2016 as runner-up with high praise on their programme Milk in Schools.

PGGWrightson (6), did much better last year with acknowledgment from panelists on their IHC work and Ballance (5), too was highly considered in the health category in 2015 but didn’t show in 2016.

Energy companies in the top 30; Contact Energy (8) finally made the top honours in 2016 with some excellent attempts to win over the past 4 years, their reporting was significant with one judge saying “Contact appear to have a good grasp of what is important to their stakeholders and their approach to sustainability seems to be a long term vision that is embedded in the company’s brand and culture.”

Z Energy (6), a company that zoomed to the top of the charts a couple of years ago, seem to have gone a little quiet and didn’t get high enough this year to be in the winning/runner ups arena ,

Last year Chevron (5) was showing themselves as ‘movers and shakers’, but only small vibrations seem to have been noticed by the people of Aotearoa this year, this could well have been the merger with Z Energy.

Meanwhile community leaders had said very good things about Genesis Energy (5) who was a significant runner-up this year.

Countdown( 8) made huge progress in the CSR arena and this year managed to combat previous big Award winners with their reporting, then blowing minds at the Awards explaining what they are actually doing in terms of community investment. One of the most popular comments at the event was “we didn’t know how much they did” and BACS was there to ensure there was no room for bragging, there wasn’t.  New World came on with a 4 with an expectation of greater things.

A regular favourite with the judges, CQ Hotels Wellington (8) was up there again battling with major companies at the Awards whilst showing many others how-to-do excellent community investment with a great scoop of humility and passion.

New Zealand Rugby (7) was the only sports business featured and had shown some good efforts in their CSR reporting particularly with their LBG-verified report.  However, criticism was made on lack of diversity on their governing boards.

The New Zealand Air Industry; Auckland Airport (7) missed winning a BACS Good Business Egg 2015 by a whisker but their determination to do better this year sadly didn’t quite make the mark.

The Telco’s; Vodafone (7) managed to beat their competitor in a higher spot yet disappointingly have not been able to take time to receive the BACS Review on their scoring by community leaders (considered by many businesses as a valuable resource).

It was a surprise to see Spark (5) not get a higher result especially as one commentator praised the company with the statement “behold a truly exceptional CSR programme!”

Chorus (5) were runners-up in 3 categories only 3 years ago and we expected greater results from thereon however, since then, they seem to have lost their sizzle.

Food and beverage companies; DB Breweries (7) have an “excellent focus in developing leadership capabilities” said one panelist.

Coca Cola Amatil (6), quietly liked by many in the community with their range of activities, sometimes scored under the radar as reports in NZ were needed.

Cadbury (5) are still coming to the party and but we haven’t seen them jump high yet. Interestingly we have never had Whittakers nominated or mentioned to BACS.

Hubbards (5) are often mentioned but hard to contact and find their messaging, but everyone knows of their good reputation and they still sit in a good sustainable seat.

New Zealand Post (6) is another local favourite that we can’t quite understand why they haven’t won an Egg yet but we admire the fact they are the only State Owned Enterprise consistently in the listings.

Technology companies; IBM (5) works in mysterious ways.  They had excellent work examples when found, but judges had to dig deep for evidence of their work… maybe a good local report would help?

Datacom (5) again another quiet contender going about its business…which is good but we’d love to see some more action on social issues please.

The only law firm on the list Bell Gully (5) had a lot of good work going on and at least we could find it!  We are sad there’s a lack of law firms coming through.  Despite some nominations over the 4 years there appears to be a lack of community reporting which takes them out of the game.

Skycity (5) get in the game each year and we all do the research and as yet they haven’t got into the latest listings. We wonder when?

Not too many paint companies in NZ but Resene (5) does some great practical work for communities and yet is not quite catching the community leaders’ collective eye, through the review process, maybe better messaging?

 

What are the benefits?

 

The BACS Social Index will provide a platform for conversations, mentoring and continuous learning and improvement in CSR outcomes.

Going through the motions of the BACS Good Business Egg Awards requires businesses to front up with evidence of good CSR practice.  Wafflers and boasters have nowhere to hide!

The BACS Social Index identifies stellar social performers and encourages conversations about how to deliver on CSR goals in a way that is valuable, meaningful and digestible for all partners.  These conversations lead to opportunities to share skills and knowledge between organisations, helping to develop connections for both business and community.

 

Get on board!

 

How do you get on this train?  Clearly identify your CSR philosophy and goals, and find a community partner that aligns well with your organisational culture and skill set.  Work with new or existing community partners to identify how you can improve your CSR delivery and outcomes.

BACS is here to help.  Get in touch if you want to find a community partner, need inspiration or want to benefit from of one, or all, of the BACS tools designed to share, acknowledge, learn and grow through CSR activity.

Join us at BACS and learn more about the BACS Good Business Egg Awards, BACS Living Award, BACS Good Business Egg Report, BACS Reviews for Business, BACS Talking Pods, and Mentoring and Expertise Assistance.

“The BACS Social Index is the community speaking on how well business is doing.”