Some of the world’s biggest businesses were in crisis management mode last year, picking up the pieces of reputations shattered by scandal. While many corporations have yet to regain the trust of stakeholders, others have made significant strides, propelled by a commitment to corporate responsibility.
“In 2018 we saw an erosion of trust, and now companies are being more transparent and are adhering to higher ethical standards,” says Stephen Hahn-Griffiths, chief reputation officer of the Reputation Institute, a reputation measurement and management services firm. Since 2011, RI has published the CR RepTrak, an annual study of companies with the best corporate responsibility reputations in the world. This year’s ranking revealed a 1.6-point increase, just enough to offset the average 1.4-point decline recorded in 2018.
“It’s not necessarily that companies have done anything dramatically different, but they’re doing a better job of providing reasons to believe that they have good intentions,” Hahn-Griffiths says. “Companies have chosen to pick one thing that matters, rather than trying to address all things, and that has caused an increase in corporate responsibility scores.”