• The age of SMEs in the Global Compact cause positive impact on the valuation of ethical elements, in the degree of implementation of CSR and the strength of ethical culture.
  • The most noted business value is excellence (53% of responses), followed by responsibility (39%), according to the survey conducted among 64 SMEs signatories of the Global Compact.
  • According to their own employees, most companies give more importance to ethics and CSR than to benefits.

Global Compact Spain Network and the Business and Economic Ethics Cathedra of the Pontificia Comillas ICAI-ICADE University have presented in Madrid the study called «Perception of ethical values and CSR in SMEs», which aims to determine how this type of companies is working Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and ethics, the degree of implementation and how it is perceived by their employees.

«In ten years SMEs in the Global Compact have increase from 58 to 800»

José Luis Fernández, Economic and Business Ethics Chatedra Director of the Pontificia Comillas ICAI-ICADE University, has pointed at the opening that «the importance of SMEs in the economy of a country is crucial. The growth and especially the development of the social structure will depend heavily on the number of jobs that are capable of creating. They have an exciting challenge: to lead progress from sustainable, ethical and responsible standards. «

Isabel Garro, Global Compact Network Spain Director and President of the Global Compact Advisory Board Networks, has noted that «in ten years SMEs of the Global Compact has grown from 58 to 800 and, according with the results, this membership is materialized in improving sustainability policies and actions, but need to improve in communicate their commitment. «

Main conclusions of the study.

The study was carried out with the information collected from 65 small and medium enterprises signatories of the Global Compact Spain Network, which responded to a comprehensive survey structured in four sections: an overview of ethics and CSR in SMEs; perception of ethics; ethical values; and degree of implementation of CSR and ethics. According to the results, participating companies, besides showing a clear sensitivity to ethical issues and CSR, are oriented towards the search for continuous improvement.

According to Javier Camacho, one of the researchers of the Business and Economic Ethics Cathedra of the Comillas ICAI-ICADE, among the main findings drawn from the study, it can be noted that the participating companies show a positive perception towards the Ethics and CSR, also high levels of an index called Ethics and CSR, developed specifically for this study. «Many of these companies are socially responsible and carry out best practices, both internally, with employees, and externally with customers, suppliers, and their immediate environment. What happens is that many times these behaviors are not «labeled» as CSR actions. «

From he conclusions obtained, the following can be highlighted:

  • SMEs employees make an average score of 82% of ethics and CSR in their organization. In this assessment have contribute the folowing factors: leadership, formal and informal elements, ethical values and cultural strength.
  • Smaller SMEs (10-25 employees) make a higher valuation of these values, especially pushed by the weight of the leader of the organization. That shows that leadership is a key component to build a strong ethical infrastructure.
  • The most valuable element is the Ethical or Conduct Code, and the least is employee participation. Companies that have spent more years as signatories of the Global Compact have a better assessment of formal and informal elements than those companies that have recently joined, 84% versus 41%.
  • The strength of the ethical culture is valued in 82% on average. In the case of companies that have more than 6 years in the Global Compact, reaches to 90%.
  • Most companies give more importance to Ethics and CSR above benefits, according to their own employees.
  • The most noted business value is excellence (53% of respondents), followed by responsibility (39%).
  • Belong to Global Compact is directly related to the degree of internalization of CSR. At an early stage represent an initial degree, entities with between three and six years old have a formal degree, and entities with more than six years, an internalized degree in 58% of the cases.