THE crisis in the leading countries has brought it back onto the agenda. Is it possible to support Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts in a recession? Research shows that most CEOs believe that the importance of CSR projects increases even more in times of recession. Indeed, according to a survey conducted by IBM, 68 percent of CEOs agree that CSR creates growth opportunities. For this reason, companies are now opening CSR departments. Companies are allocating larger sums from their budgets to promote these efforts. The sixth "Corporate Social Responsibility Leaders" survey that Capital conducted this year with GfK Turkey reflects this change. It was observed that most of the companies which rank high in the league of responsible companies have prepared reports on CSR.
IT PROVIDES A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
This year, Turkcell ranked first in the business community as a whole in the "Corporate Social Responsibility Leaders" survey of. In terms of the general public, the company ranked second. Turkcell CEO Süreyya Ciliv says that they see themselves as corporate citizens. He notes that they give particular emphasis to projects for the future of young people. Koç Holding ranked second in the business community in the list of the social responsible leaders. Turgay Durak, the CEO of the holding which ranked third overall with the general public, says that there have been significant chances in CSR in recent years. Durak notes: "The figures demonstrate that changing social dynamics and consumer expectations have increased the impact of social responsibility projects on consumer decisions."
IT SUPPORTS GROWTH
The heads of many of the companies in the highest echelons of the league of socially responsible companies in Turkey think that CSR projects contribute to growth. Erdal Karamercan, the CEO of Eczacıbaşı Holding, which ranks fourth in the business world and seventh amongst the general public, stresses that reputation is as important as trading results and adds: "If your products and financial possibilities are fantastic but you cannot apply corporate communication policies that give the right message then you cannot be completely successful." Ali Ülker, board member of Yıldız Holding, which ranked fourth amongst the general public and tenth in the business community, is one of those who believe that it creates added value. Ülker notes that, before investing in a company, many funds first evaluate its social responsibility performance.