The team at Sapience has a wealth of experience in guiding sustainability comms across a wide range of sectors. We understand the critical importance of amplifying your commitment to ESG through tailored and engaging PR and digital marketing strategies.
The last decade has seen growing scrutiny around businesses’ commitment to social responsibility, with stakeholders, from investors to customers, increasingly placing a premium on practices which support environmental sustainability, social value, and corporate governance – collectively known as ESG. In fact, investors alone directed a record £7.1bn into responsible investment funds in 2020, up 275% from the first three quarters of 2019.
But at the same time, there is growing pressure on businesses to avoid ‘greenwashing’ and overstating their commitments to ESG efforts. Already, a number of big name brands have come under fire for releasing misleading information about sustainability policies.
So, a challenge lies ahead for businesses across the economy: how to establish an ESG communications strategy which accurately, transparently and credibly articulates the good work of the company?
Here are the top four dos and don’ts of ESG communications.
DO respond to continuous change
The focus of ESG emphasis is constantly shifting, and it’s important to be responsive by showing awareness of developments and how your company might respond.
Acknowledging how to build on current and future ESG work and show real progress will be vital to effective communications and digital marketing in the months ahead. And it’s key for companies to demonstrate a continuous commitment to improving practices and looking beyond immediate commercial gain.
DON’T just focus on one aspect of ESG
Taking achivable steps to realising ESG ambitions is important and that might mean prioritising a small number of particular initiatives, however acknowledging that there is a broader range of issues which fall under the ESG umbrella is vital to demonstrating credibility and commitment to stakeholders.
It’s important to tailor communications to each area under discussion, but recognise and acknowledge that there is more work to be done.
DO be clear and transparent
There is exceptional value in being able to share a company’s progress, new commitments or milestones around the ESG efforts. But, in doing so, be sure that the information is clearly presented with accessible language – and, of course, factually accurate.
After all, 68% of online consumers in the US and UK would consider ending their loyalty to a brand because of poor or misleading social responsibility records – so prioritise transparency and accuracy in sharing data.
DON’T just talk about ESG
Of course, commitment to ESG principles depends on showing tangile results, not simply talking about it and company’s are being expected to “walk the walk”.
A 2020 report found that half of businesses surveyed understand their customers’ expectation that they take genuine steps to be more environmentally responsible. So, it’s vital not to be left behind and that any public statements can be supported with genuine interest and implementation.
Face the future
ESG strategies are coming under increasing global scrutiny, so supporting your work with clear and sustained communications is vital. Promote what you have done, and acknowledge what remains for you to do. The ESG landscape is constantly evolving – so for the good of your business and the planet, make sure you don’t get left behind.
Sapience can support your company in establishing a meaningful and bespoke sustainability comms strategy. We have successfully worked with clients across multiple sectors to deliver impactful campaigns, ranging from sustainable development solutions for the NHS to ESG reports produced by a leading investment research specialist.
Our driven team have also supported clients in raising the profile of their sustainable innovations, including an app that aims to ease traffic congestion and an ESG scorecard launched by an industry leading broker.
At Sapience, we recognise that sustainability strategies are coming under increasing global scrutiny, Supporting your work with clear and sustained communications is vital. It is critical to promote what you have done, and acknowledge what remains for you to do. The ESG landscape is constantly evolving – so for the good of your business and the planet, make sure you don’t get left behind.