NOTICE – Quantitative and qualitative measures of CSR: figures and descriptions

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Carlos Noronha

Vice Chairman, Executive Council

MAcau Institute for Corporate Social Responsibility in Greater China (MICSRGC)


In March 2022, the Macau Legislative Assembly’s Second Standing Committee reported that some lawmakers were concerned about how the CSR activity of gambling operators under the new gambling law can be “quantified” and the chairman of the commission said it was very difficult to do. Let’s take a look at this question of measuring good deeds (CSR).

It can generally be mentioned that there are quantitative measures (by numbers, figures or monetary amounts) as well as qualitative measures of how companies contribute to society in the form of CSR.

Much of what has been questioned by lawmakers, and likely the public, has to do with the monetary contributions made by gaming operators to society. Surely everyone remembers the special gaming tax of 35% on operators’ gross income, plus an additional 4-5% for social, infrastructure and other contributions. Most likely, people are looking to see if under the new gaming law this 4-5% contribution will be increased. It’s natural for the public to focus on this so-called ‘contribution to CSR’, but when the money goes into the coffers and whether it’s spent effectively and efficiently is a whole other question.

Let’s get back to the main question of measuring CSR. It’s a difficult question, but there are already what we call “social performance/contribution measures” (PSM/C) in the world. It is not difficult to have access to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and to so-called sustainable stocks versus “sin stocks”. If a company is listed on a particular stock exchange, it must meet certain ESG (environmental, social and governance) requirements and disclosures. For example, MICSRGC members have previously conducted research using the “Social Contribution Value Per Action” (SCVPS), which is a numerical indicator of a company’s contribution to key stakeholders, such as investors, government, customers and Suppliers; and taking into account the negative impacts that business operations may have on the environment. Our research has also indicated that this type of quantitative measurement can be informative for investors, giving them good indicators and criteria for investing in sustainable companies. Currently, SCVPS is only disclosed by companies listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. We believe it applies to companies listed on other stock exchanges.

What about the qualitative side of CSR measures? I would like to share an experience of our institute, MICSRGC, involved in an upcoming public award for responsible entrepreneurship. The “Deignan Award for Responsible Entrepreneurship” is a new form of recognition for companies in Macau and Hong Kong (especially small and medium-sized companies) that have met the award criteria and achieved outstanding results in terms of of CSR, sustainability, ESG and business ethics. The event is co-hosted by the Wofoo Foundation Limited in Hong Kong, the Macau Ricci Institute and a number of key organizations including Saint Joseph University, the Hong Kong International Institute of Educational Leadership as well as the Center d Catholic Studies from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

In shaping the award criteria, the MICSRGC helped operationalize the Five Core or Core Values ​​of Alfred Deignan, SJ, namely “Respect for Human Dignity”, “Respect for Equity”, “Respect for the environment”, “Respect for business ethics”, “Respect for the disadvantaged”. more “valuing” which is interested in social innovation and crisis management. The award is open for nominations and the jury includes respected names in the social, business and philanthropic fields of Macau and Hong Kong. Every fundamental value of the price should be backed by evidence – qualitative and quantitative – hence the inspiration behind this article. It’s worth looking forward to seeing how the nominees contribute to CSR and related issues such as sustainability, ESG, etc.

When drafting the award criteria, the MICSRGC (with the unconditional help of our academic and volunteer members) referred to various awards on CSR, business ethics and business excellence in other countries and regions. CSR does not depend on how much money a large company has spent on public relations or marketing. The message is simple and clear: good deeds are difficult to measure, but if we do measure them, we must be vigilant and not be swayed by extravagant shapes and impressive titles.

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