The 2017 research report is now available !

Managers speak out on sustainability
How CSR is changing business

The 2017 report lets us hear the voices of managers in international corporations and reveals their desire to take CSR into new territory, beyond compliance and brand image.

Surveyed during first quarter 2017, the 130 managers who participated in our research share an interest in sustainable business, each with a different personal experience and perspective. Half of them have direct responsibility for CSR, half do not. From 25 countries, a wide range of functions and 107 large companies, their voices combine to tell a compelling story about how far CSR has come in the last five years.

Part 1 of the report presents insights and analysis from the study in 5 thematic chapters:

  1. Raising the bar on CSR 
  2. The focus and pace of change
  3. Creating positive impacts
  4. Managers' role in change
  5. Overcoming barriers to change

Part 2 sets out detailed findings in the order of the original questionnaire, with many verbatim citations. The identity of respondents and their companies has of course been protected to preserve confidentiality.

We specifically targeted senior and middle managers because this population is in contact with the widest range of a company’s stakeholders. They have direct knowledge of top executives’ priorities and they lead the teams charged with achieving the business objectives. At the same time they are in contact with suppliers, customers and local communities. We consider they are the real “change makers” in organisations. Their views on CSR and change are views that executive teams need to hear.

Early Strategies and New Angles partnered to conduct this research. 


research respondents

Participants responded on a personal basis and not as representatives of their organizations. Participants identity and answers will remain confidential, and will not be shared outside the survey analyst team. Respondents’ profiles will be used for data analysis purposes, but will not be extracted or disclosed to any 3rd party, and will be deleted at the time we will publish the report. More on data privacy here.

Participants who completed the survey (that closed on March 31st) belong to:

A.S. Watson Group, ABB, Abbott, AIG, Air France-KLM, Alcon, Allianz, Alstom, American Express, Aperam, Arla Foods, Arriva Group, Arup, at&t, Atos, Axa, Axway, Bacardi & Company Ltd., Barilla, Bertelsmann, Blackbaud, BNP Paribas, Bombardier, British Gas, Camso , Care ONG, China Ting Group, Club Med, Comerica Bank, Commerzbank AG, Conduent, CSC, Dansk Supermarked Group, Dentsu Aegis, Deutsche Bank, Diageo, Ecolab, Engie, Ericsson, Essilor, Euroclear, Fiat Chrysler Rimaco S.A., Flextronics, Fullerton India, G4S Plc, GE Power, General Cable, Genpact, Georgia-Pacific LLC, Hanesbrands Inc. , HSBC, Huntsmann, IBM, IHS Markit, IKEA, IL&FS Education and Technology Services Limited, Jaguar Land Rover, Jindal Steel & Power Ltd. , Kering, Kerry, Kroger, L'Occitane, L'Oréal, La-Z-Boy, Lagardère, Level 3 Communications, Lloyds Banking Group, Lowe's, Luen Thai Holdings Limited, Marks & Spencer, Merck, Merck KGaA, Merial, Metro, Microsoft, Monsanto, Mott McDonald, Mphasis, NovoNordisk, O2, Omya, OP Financial Group, Oracle, Osram, Oxy, Pepsico, Philips Lightning, PwC, Renault Nissan India, Royal Canin, Saint Gobain, Sealed Air Corporation, Sephora, Smithfield, Stanley Black &Decker, Symrise, The Body Shop, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, The University of Nottingham, United Technologies, Vale, Walgreens, Wavestone, Whirlpool, Xerox, Yahoo, Zebra Technologies.

(in bold: multiple responses)

From companies
From countries
From sectors

The Research Report

Flyer and Excerpt

Read this 2 pages flyer for an overview of the research report content here.

Read a few pages of the report here.

Part 1: final Research Report

The final research report “Managers speak out on sustainability” highlights the main findings and key emerging messages, allowing the reader to easily make connections with their own context and translate these into action. 37 pages; English or French; delivered as Part 1 of the Corporate Package. Read en excerpt.

Part 2: Detailed Findings

The Detailed Findings is a faithful restitution of the voices of these 130 managers, moves question-by-question presenting in full both the statistical results; 55 pages, in English; delivered as Part 2 of the Corporate Package, available for free to research participants. Read an excerpt.

Research team


Who should read the report

Both the final Research Report and the Detailed Findings reflect the authentic voices of middle and senior managers. The findings of this unique research study bring insights to:

  • Top executives, senior and middle managers who want to lead their teams through today’s fast changing corporate landscape and ensure the sustainability of their business
  • Sustainability and CSR Directors and their team and ambassadors, to help them understand how CSR and sustainability are impacting organizations, decision-makers and employees, enabling them to plan their change strategies and identify the right levers and management relays in their companies.
  • Human Resource Directors and their HR teams, to understand the positive impacts of the sustainability, how senior and middle management participate in the transformation, and identify insights for strategic planning and implementation.
  • Learning Officers and their Corporate University teams to help their work of developing senior and middle managers generally and specifically when it comes to CSR and sustainability
  • Change and Strategy Directors and their Change teams.


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Picture credits: Mitch Barrie - Across the ice bridge - 2009 Flickr CC-BY; Steve Snodgrass - Faces - 2010 Flickr CC-BY