There is a growing expectation that your organisation should be committed to corporate social responsibility (CSR) – and sustainability in particular.
Switched-on clients and employees are reviewing how a business is approaching environmentally-friendly topics – and it’s affecting buying decisions as well as where people choose to work.
For example, 59 per cent of consumers expect brands to make a stand on climate and environmental issues. Also, 64 per cent of millennials, who are estimated to make up three-quarters of the workforce by 2025, won’t take a job if the company doesn’t have a strong CSR focus.
In addition, stakeholders are savvier than ever before and can easily spot a business simply paying lip service to sustainable practices.
Before organisations begin communicating their efforts in this area, it is vital they analyse current activity as well as understand what else they can do. Speaking to staff will also assist with identifying what topics are important to them.
People who wish to engage with your brand – prospective customers, job candidates, politicians, local residents etc – will likely visit your website to carry out research.
Build a page to evidence your work – and think beyond the typical ‘we sponsored a local sports team’. From a sustainability perspective, have you introduced electric company vehicles? Have you found a method to manufacture your product that is better for the environment? Do you source your food ingredients from within a certain mile radius?
Create separate content on each story. Write a news article for your website and consider whether the media would be interested to use it as editorial. COP26, the 2020 United Nations Climate Change Conference, is being held in Glasgow in November so media attention on sustainability will likely increase.
Consider video interviews with employees. For example, if each member of the team receives one day per year to volunteer for a cause that is close to their heart, film and edit a news-style interview.
Share all content across your social media channels and explore paid social media promotion, especially if you’re currently recruiting and want to deliver these key messages to prospective applicants.
Repurpose the content across all forms of communication. For example, dedicate a section in your annual report to your successes in sustainability and include a story in your e-newsletter.
Also focus on internal communication – do you have a staff conference or newsletter? What about an intranet? Your employees can become your biggest advocate and will likely post stories across their personal social media accounts.