Unrecognized expression ten years ago, corporate social responsibility ( CSR) has entered the common language and mores of SME and ETI managers. How is CSR experienced and practiced in French companies? Bpifrance Le Lab conducted the survey among 1,150 managers of VSEs, SMEs and ETIs.

What you must remember :

1/ There are as many ways of doing CSR in SMEs and ETIs as there are DNA of companies and entrepreneurs.

CSR is a voluntary, inclusive and equitable approach to sustainable development.

2/ The adoption of CSR in SMEs-ETIs is quite massive and recent.

In fact, 90% of managers surveyed say they carry out CSR actions; 50% say they have a CSR approach, 25% an approach structured around a medium or long-term action plan.

3/ If, in principle, CSR does not require a critical size, the share of companies that practice CSR increases with size.

The number of actions implemented and the degree of structuring of CSR approaches increase with the size of the company.

4/ SMEs and ETIs are mainly present on the social/governance aspect of CSR.

CSR often results in more open governance and better working conditions. The environmental axis is less invested.

5/ Sectoral differences are notable in terms of CSR.

While the service sector invests in the social axis, transport and tourism are more involved in the environmental aspect.

6/ If the majority of SME managers have a positive and benevolent view of CSR, the formalization of an action plan depends greatly on the personal conviction of the manager.

The most committed are the most convinced of the economic interest of a CSR project.

7) Our survey allowed us to bring out 4 CSR profiles.

Our sample of 1,154 respondents is divided between:
· the convinced (25% of respondents): For them, CSR is a lever of competitiveness. They see this approach as a business opportunity.
· socio-committed people (20 of respondents): For them, CSR is a means of bringing people together but not necessarily a development opportunity or a point of differentiation.
· the skeptical-favorable (30% of respondents): They do not have strong convictions about CSR, but they are nevertheless rather favorable.
· the skeptical-refractory On the whole, CSR remains for them an additional constraint which is added to the already very heavy burden of the leader of PME-ETI.

Credit: bpifrance-lelab