Community Index Magazine, the bilingual yearbook dedicated to community investments in Romania, has reached its 3rd edition in 2021

Community Index Magazine, the bilingual yearbook dedicated to community investments in Romania, has reached its 3rd edition in 2021

The publication can be especially useful not only for professionals in the field but also for community members, NGOs, universities, PR agencies and authorities

The Azores Sustainability & CSR Services agency launches the 3rd edition of the Community Index Magazine yearbook, the only bilingual publication in a printed format in Romania, which contains the results of the Community Index 2021 ranking, national and international exclusive interviews, case studies and articles in the field of sustainability.

• For the first time, in this edition the readers can enjoy interviews that highlight the perspectives of some well-known leaders within the United Nations Organization, the European Commission or the Sustainable Development Department of the Romanian Government.

• The publication promotes the adoption of The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in order to support Romania in its efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda.

Community Index Magazine: a source of top-quality know-how for any professional who has a sustainable mindset

The Community Index Magazine bilingual yearbook, at its third edition, contains no less than 260 pages of analysis, exclusive interviews with renowned international experts, articles and interviews with local professionals, CEOs and experts in the field of sustainability and CSR, as well as numerous case studies of some companies that can be considered a reference in corporate sustainability.

The publication can be especially useful not only for professionals in the field but also for community members, NGOs, universities, PR agencies and authorities.

What type of content do readers find in the Community Index Magazine yearbook?

For the first time, the 2021 edition of Community Index Magazine contains exclusive interviews with globally renowned experts from the field of corporate sustainability, such as:

  • Guillaume Lafortune (Sustainable Development Solutions Network, an initiative of the United Nations)
  • Virginijus Sinkevicius (European Commission)
  • Rod Judkins (Central Saint Martins College of Art)
  • Leyla Acaroglu (The UnSchool of Disruptive Design)
  • Denise Delaney (Environmental Resources Management)
  • Anita Longley (Institute for Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability)
  • Gerbrand Haverkamp (World Benchmarking Alliance)
  • Marco Matrisciano (CSR Europe)

The contributors who have offered relevant insights are renowned local or international professionals, such as Eileen Chen (Radley Yeldar), Simon Graham (De Courcy Alexander), Darren Willman (Garrett Motion), Jozsef Benedek (Babeș-Bolyai University), Radu Atanasiu (Bucharest International School of Management), Corina Radu (Solutions4Impact), Diana Stafie (futureStation) or Alexandru Ardelean (Future Banking). 

What is Community Index?

Community Index is the first and only index of programs and projects developed by companies in Romania for community investment, launched in 2019. The ranking is the largest database of CSR projects in Romania and represents an analysis tool useful for companies, authorities and communities when they make investment decisions.

It is a component of Romania CST Index ranking (formerly Romania CSR Index), the most important analysis of performance and transparency from the perspective of corporate sustainability in our country.

There is a great variety of initiatives and projects on the market. A structured overview can offer extremely relevant information that would help the decision-makers outline a strategy that is well-adjusted to the local and national context.

In order to establish the winner projects that were included in Community Index 2021, approximately 870 initiatives, projects or programs were analysed, carried out in Romania between January 2020 to December 2020. The scorecard on the basis of which the assessment has been made had, in total, 6 categories and 49 indicators, aligned to 3 of the most important standards or international references in the field of community investments.

What new findings has the 2021 analysis brought to light?

The trends observed during carrying out the analysis shows more and more clearly that the level of transparency has increased, as well as the complexity of the information regarding the results of the projects. The number of projects that are carried out for two, even three years has also increased, and the companies could set, thus, long-term objectives. The projects have become more inclusive, paying more attention to stakeholder engagement, both internal and external, in the investment decisions.

In 2020, the projects were adapted to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. Thus, fewer volunteers from the employees of companies got involved, and the number of projects that gathered many people in the same place for various offline activities has decreased. On the other hand, the digitalisation degree of projects has increased, which would have been possible, under different circumstances, in two, maybe three years.

The complexity level of community investment projects has considerably increased in recent years, evolution also supported by international standards that are constantly improving and bring to our attention many examples of best practices. By analysing the 2020 projects, we have noticed an increased interest of companies to get as close as possible to the target public and to have an impact where it matters most for the community. The way in which companies communicate has also changed, with a focus on the relevance for members of communities and intending to have a meaningful dialogue, with emphasis on getting things done and on using everyone’s abilities intelligently.

Where are the results of the analysis published?

The 2021 results can be found both in the printed version of Community Index Magazine and online: https://communityindex.ro/comunicarea-rezultatelor-2021/

Which are the main communities in which Romania is investing?

The index was structured based on 18 of the most important communities in which investments are made in Romania, more exactly: active living, entrepreneurship, art/culture / traditions, raising awareness, career education, education for pupils, education – tech in schools, financial education, environment – waste management, environment – sustainability, disadvantaged environments, sustainable cities, animal protection, health, nutrition/wellbeing, tech 4 good, women empowerment.

Considering the context of the pandemic, in 2021, a new category has been included, Emergency Relief, where projects of the companies that have offered their support during the emergency period have been analysed.

What are the objectives of the Community Index ranking?

The mission of the ranking is to highlight high-performance CSR projects that place more emphasis on issues such as stakeholder dialogue, project sustainability and measuring medium and long-term impact. Furthermore, the index aims to highlight those projects that can be considered Best Practices in their category and which can be used as an example in developing the strategy of a new project.

Alina Liciu (Managing Partner, The Azores Sustainability & CSR Services) states:

Sustainability is a field that evolves rapidly, as we start to appreciate more than ever the natural capital, pay more attention to the entire value chain, and raise the expectations regarding the role of companies in the development of communities. To become sustainable doesn’t happen overnight. It is a long process, and many small steps are needed, but also a red thread and adapting the strategy along the way. The best community investment projects belong to the companies that have aligned their business strategy to the sustainability strategy and the development priorities of their community. A better coordination between the private sector, the public sector and communities is needed and this is the contribution we have assumed through this yearbook, namely to bring together all these actors, in the hope of encouraging a meaningful dialogue.”

Ioana Marin (Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Community Index Magazine) states:

Through the materials we have included in Community Index Magazine, we set out to offer a guide of best practices and global perspectives which would help the readers of the yearbook to look at the idea of sustainability from a holistic perspective. Thus, we contribute to disseminating the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, targets which offer an extremely clear direction to a new social and economic model: clean, healthy and regenerative. In the last two years, the awareness degree and willingness of each of us has visibly increased, so we have the unique opportunity to transform the post-pandemic recovery into a reinvention, the essence of which should be intergenerational equity. We can start now by choosing one Goal.”

The yearbook is the contribution of The Azores Sustainability & CSR Services agency to the development of the field of corporate sustainability in Romania, which aims to deliver not only know-how and authentic content, but to make concrete efforts by the dissemination of the sustainability concept in the business environment: part of the printed yearbooks will be offered free-of-charge to companies that have over 500 employees (>700 companies).

For printing the publication only FSC® certified paper, from sustainable sources, has been used. The yearbook provides both valuable information and also an authetic experience from a visual point of view. The cover of the magazine is created by Ovidiu Solcan (collage artist), being a sustainable collage from recycled magazines, representing George Enescu, 66 years after the death of the legendary Romanian composer.

About The Azores Sustainability & CSR Services

Consulting agency, established in 2013, aims to support the companies from Romania in integrating corporate sustainability in their business strategy, The Azores Sustainability & CSR Services has an approach focused on long-term results, using IT technology for a high level of accuracy of sustainability indicators and research projects that would support the decision-makers in companies to define their corporate sustainability strategy.

The most important and complex project of the agency is Romania Corporate Sustainability & Transparency Index (CST Index), formerly Romania CSR Index, ranking that was launched in 2016 and the only one in Romania that evaluates the sustainability indicators of companies: information on sustainability governance and on economic, environmental and social impact. The index is released annually within the Best Practices in Corporate Sustainability event.

In 2019, the agency launched Community Index, the most comprehensive ranking of corporate projects of investments in communities and a summary of the best CSR campaigns carried out each year by companies in Romania. The ranking results, alongside case studies and interviews with national and international experts, are presented each year in Community Index Magazine, the only bilingual yearbook dedicated to investments in communities carried out by companies in Romania.