Finding the story in your ESG numbers

by Feb 9, 2022

Shelton Stat of the Week

Only 30% of Americans believe that companies who don’t communicate about their good initiatives are just as trustworthy as those who do. — Good Company, January 2021

Next Tuesday at GreenBiz 22, Chris Haasen of our long-standing partner S&Z and I will be conducting a workshop to shed light on:

  • The ABCs of ESG. What you need to know about the terminology and standards, the reporting frameworks and the ratings agency game.
  • The watch-outs. What gaps must be filled and which commitments must be made to appease ratings agencies and investors as well as employees and consumers.
  • Bake in. Level out. How to bake sustainability into a brand platform and frame an ESG story at different levels, so you can speak to different audiences in a way they can each understand while staying consistent, including via your ESG reporting.

We’ll have the folks in attendance work together to nail down several key takeaways — like which ESG ratings agencies matter most for each attendee’s company, the most important watch-outs and story elements for each attendee’s situation, and what their lead messages should be.

So, if you’re heading to GreenBiz, join us!

If you’re not heading to GreenBiz, here are a few of the things we’ll be covering so you can at least get some of the benefit of our session:

  • Americans are increasingly putting companies onto a “good list” and a “bad list,” and 26% are taking real action based on that. We’ll dig into who these folks are and what motivates them. You can learn more by clicking here and here.
  • We’ll also dig into what these folks want companies to be doing — and saying — for people and the planet.
  • We’ll do a primer on sustainable finance — following the money that’s driving a lot of ESG action these days — and the alphabet soup of raters and the frameworks investors are using to try and de-risk their investments.
  • Going deeper, we’ll dive into exact actions and messages consumers want to see from companies and what commitments, information, metrics and reporting investors are looking for.
  • Lastly, we’ll lay out how to go about creating the right communications that work at multiple levels — more generalized for mainstream buyers and super-detailed for investors and NGOs.

You’ll get the most out of the session if you attend live and in person, but if you’d like the deck, just reach out to us at [email protected] and request a copy. I hope to see you next week!

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ESG is becoming an expectation for businesses, but knowing where to start is tough. This Chief Executive piece walks through the importance of ESG reporting for transparency and risk assessment and provides a basic understanding of the ESG alphabet soup.
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Shoptivism: Why Consumers (& Job Seekers) Opt In & Out of Today’s Brands

Sustainability is now mainstream and it’s affecting purchase behavior.

Every year we ask Americans if they’ve ever intentionally purchased or not purchased a product or service based on the social or environmental record of the manufacturer. We then ask everyone who says “yes” to name the brand. Those who say “yes” and can give an example of a brand unaided? We call them shoptivists.

But who are these “shoptivists?”

Our latest report answers this question with three distinct consumer profiles, including details on their mental models, their shopping patterns, the messages that resonate, and where to find them.

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About the Author

Suzanne Shelton

Where Suzanne sees opportunity, you can bet results will follow. Drawing on her extensive knowledge of both the advertising world and the energy and environment arena, Suzanne provides unparalleled strategic insights to our clients and to audiences around North America. Suzanne is a guest columnist in multiple publications and websites, such as GreenBiz, and she speaks at around 20 conferences a year, including Sustainable Brands, Fortune Brainstorm E and Green Build.

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