A version of this post was previously published on Beyond Bylines
Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) news is taking the new year by storm as companies announce their major advancements and achievements in sustainability. How can you be a part of the conversation?
To help PR and IR pros get a sense of how they might approach their own ESG messaging, we looked at the latest ESG press releases from PR Newswire to uncover three trends in how companies are positioning themselves for the rest of the year.
1. Sustainability Reports
In January, several organizations issued their annual sustainability or ESG reports detailing their 2021 achievements. These reports are overflowing with insights into how a company went from strategy to success in areas like carbon emission reduction, diversity improvements and corporate hierarchy.
Here are a few examples:
Investcorp highlighted ESG integrations within its investment and portfolio management activities
Whirlpool’s 2021 sustainability achievements included improvements on zero waste goals and carbon footprint reductions.
The takeaway: Companies are being held to a higher standard today, and providing visibility into their sustainability efforts can help win trust with consumers and other key stakeholders.
2. Rankings, Ratings and Investments
January also saw its fair share of companies announcing recognition for their ESG efforts and successes. Every year, asset managers and ratings/ranking agencies create lengthy lists of the companies that stood out in the preceding year. These ratings and rankings give stakeholders insight into which corporations are truly performing well in ESG – and are worth investing in. Some asset managers are even taking the approach of broadening their coverage and investment portfolios to meet investor demand.
Check out these recent announcements:
Kimberly Clark announced its placement on the JUST Capital 100 list, which recognizes U.S. corporations that excel in areas like diversity, fair wages, worker safety, workplace inclusivity and sustainable production.
Vanguard filed with the SEC for its Vanguard Baillie Gifford Global Positive Impact Stock Fund, creating a new investment opportunity for ESG-driven companies.
The takeaway: If your brand has done well in these ratings or earned any awards, take every opportunity to let your audience of consumers and other key stakeholders know about it.
3. Setting ESG Goals
Other companies are taking the start of 2022 as an opportunity to outline their ESG-related plans and targets. As ESG continues to stay top of mind, stakeholders will continue to have questions around which companies are making commitments and how they plan to achieve those goals.
Here’s how a few companies recently announced their ESG targets:
NiSource Inc. announced a detailed framework around coal reduction, greenhouse gas emissions and water withdrawal reduction targets.
Others are announcing strategic partnerships to help create a more sustainable environment, like IGT joining the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to drive carbon emission reduction.
Takeaway: There is a growing consumer demand for companies to invest in more sustainable practices. Showing the world you’re committing to sustainability will pique the interest of like-minded consumers and investors.
The recent ramp-up in ESG-related news is evidence that companies are taking fresh approaches to building strong profiles in sustainability. It’s also a sign that the media is hungry for these types of stories. If you have an ESG story to tell about your brand, now is the time to shine a spotlight on it.
For more best practices for communicating ESG, check out our Ultimate ESG Toolkit for Communicators.
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