LexisNexis has been named among the Top 10 companies for corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the 2018 Annual Review of the State of CSR in Australia and New Zealand for a second year running.

The Annual Review of the State of CSR in Australia and New Zealand is an ongoing annual research study of CSR capabilities, practices and trends in the region. The initiative recognises organisations that demonstrate an ongoing commitment to aligning business strategies to corporate responsibility and sustainability, along with those who lead the industry in terms of stakeholder engagement, dialogue, and values alignment.

Simon Wilkins, General Manager of LexisNexis Australia, welcomed the award.

“LexisNexis has a core mission to advance the rule of law around the globe. Gaining recognition like this is significant for us as it shows that the unity of our organisation behind our mission is having real-world impact. We are proud to be a business that not only invests in good corporate citizenship, but actively intertwines this with our business imperatives.

“In addition to our dedicated CSR activities in Australia and the region, our core business – through analytics, legal resources, and legal workflow solutions, increases accessibility to and equality before the law.

“Expanding the rule of law around the world increases positive social and economic outcomes. Increased political and judicial stability encourages greater investment in developing nations and the resulting economic gains spawn social benefits such as greater life expectancy, lower crime rates and decreased infant mortality.”

The 2018 Annual Review of the State of CSR in Australia and New Zealand report analyses trends and outcomes in corporate social responsibility. It is the largest ongoing study of organisational CSR in Australia and New Zealand.

There were 1107 respondents to the study, which found that promoting diversity in the workplace is now the top CSR priority in Australia and that 80% of organisations are seeing reputational benefits and reduced risk as a result of their commitment to CSR.

A key unexpected finding of the report was that Australian businesses are underprepared for the impending Modern Slavery Act – with just 57% of CSR Managers aware of the potential implications and almost 80% reporting that slavery was unlikely in their supply chains.

Veronica Rios, Executive Manager Content AU and APAC Rule of Law said, “Abolishing slavery in all forms and upholding the human rights of all people is a key tenet of the rule of law, and as such LexisNexis has many initiatives in place to support this.

“In 2017, LexisNexis made a submission to the Australian Government Inquiry into establishing a Modern Slavery Act, taking a supportive stance in the belief that the introduction of a Modern Slavery Act would further strengthen the rule of law and provide the necessary protections to the disadvantaged and vulnerable members of our own society and promoting widespread accountability to a growing global issue.

“Since 2016, LexisNexis has also had an alliance with Freedom Hub, an official charity partner that works to build the independence and confidence of young women who have survived modern slavery. In addition to undertaking several fundraising events throughout the last two years, LexisNexis is also able to leverage the core skills of employees to assist with Freedom Hub’s Survivor School, currently undertaking a project to elevate valuable learning materials that empower survivors to live autonomously in Australian society.”

RELX, the parent company of LexisNexis, maintains a Socially Responsible Supplier database that currently holds over 344 key suppliers and tracks key indicators including human trafficking information from various state departments and partners for those located in high-risk countries. 

Last year RELX undertook approximately 83 external audits of suppliers and any incident of non-compliance from these audits triggers a corrective action plan and remediation on all issues. 

Other companies named in the report include NAB, PWC, The Walt Disney Company and Transurban.

The Award was presented to LexisNexis at the launch of the tenth Annual Review of the State of CSR event hosted by Deloitte in Sydney.