The only ranking in Romania dedicated to community investment annually reviews over 850 CSR projects and initiatives, structured in 19 categories.
- Companies in Romania allocate cumulatively around 80 million euro every year for community development.
- 21% of the developed CSR projects are dedicated to education, whether we are talking about education for pupils, entrepreneurs, digital or financial education.
- Less than 10% of the projects are developed by companies for tackling climate change and developing sustainable cities.
The Azores Sustainability & CSR Services, leader on the Romanian market regarding sustainability and CSR analysis, is launching the fourth edition of Community Index, the most complex annual ranking of investment projects in Romanian communities, structured in 19 categories.
The corporate investments and donations in support of communities has grown in recent years, and rises to over 80 million euro annually, mainly in areas such as education in schools (8.4%), health (11.5%) or disadvantaged environments (18.1%). Another field of interest for companies is Art & Culture, 9.2% of the projects being developed in this direction. However, less than 5% of the projects developed by Romanian companies are designed to tackle climate changes and 4.4% of the projects are dedicated to sustainable cities.
The index aims to be a useful tool for the professionals in the field, in order to help them make better informed decisions concerning future investment in communities. Furthermore, the Community Index Scorecard, which has 46 indicators, can serve as a checklist to analyse the degree of complexity and performance of a project.
“The CSR area is in a continuous development and it’s very important that the management of a community investment project has the same rigor as any other business project. To only communicate the amount donated for a project is not enough, there should be more transparency regarding the engaged stakeholders and the alignment to the business vision, strategy and industry. How the results are communicated is also a key aspect, a best practice is to use data to demonstrate what the company has achieved, both on short and long-term. The projects that have a good strategy can improve considerably their results and impact and can contribute to a greater extent to the sustainability and the resilience of a community.” – states Alina Liciu, Managing Partner The Azores Sustainability & CSR Services.
Among the main trends highlighted following the analysis, we mention an increase in the level of transparency regarding the results and the impact of the CSR projects. Furthermore, the companies tend to better align their CSR strategy to the industry’s specific and to the business strategy. When it comes to employees, they are increasingly eager to help communities and appreciate the companies that offer them this opportunity. Another trend we discovered is that there is an increased interest in focusing on long-term objectives: companies put more emphasis on generating impact over several years and try to avoid creating dependency– they concentrate on developing abilities that will remain in the community even when a company withdraws its support.
Community Index analysed over 850 projects from Romania, carried out from January to December 2021, based on a scorecard comprising 46 indicators. The ranking is a component of Romania CST Index (Corporate Sustainability & Transparency Index), which evaluates information published by companies in their sustainability reports. The main objectives of Community Index are to structure all these projects in a database and to analyse the way in which they align to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.