As part of its strategy, the European Commission invites large enterprises to make a commitment to take account of these instruments when developing their own policies on CSR, and announces an intention to monitor such commitments for enterprises with more than 1.000 employees. The published paper is part of that monitoring exercise.

The aim is to present statistics on the extent to which 200 randomly selected large companies (over 1.000 employees) from 10 different EU Member States make publicly available policy references to certain internationally recognised CSR guidelines and principles. The 10 Member States are the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the UK. It is not the objective of this paper to analyse the extent to which any individual company in the sample meets the expectations contained in any particular CSR instrument.

The analysis of publicly available information from 200 randomly selected large companies (over1.000 employees) leads to the following main findings:
* 68% of the sample companies make reference to “corporate social responsibility” or an equivalent term, and 40% refer to at least one internationally recognised CSR instrument.
* 33% of the sample companies meet the European Commission’s call to refer to at least one of the following: UN Global Compact, OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises,or ISO 26000.
* 2% of the sample companies meet the European Commission’s call to refer to the ILO MNE Declaration.
* 3% of the sample companies refer to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which the European Commission expects all enterprises to implement with regard to the corporate responsibility to respect human rights.
* The UN Global Compact and the Global Reporting Initiative, with 32% and 31%respectively, are the most commonly referenced instruments, followed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Instruments of the International Labour Organisation.
* Very large companies in the sample (those with over 10.000 employees) are about 3 times more likely to refer to internationally recognised CSR instruments than companieswith between 1.000 and 10.000 employees.
* Danish, Spanish and Swedish sample companies refer to internationally recognised CSR instruments more often than the average EU sample company. Dutch, French and Italian companies were about average for the sample, and Czech, German, Polish and UK companiesin the sample refer to CSR instruments less frequently that than the average.