ESG communication and engagement are vital to make ESG real and embedded into companies’ culture. Communications and engagement could support positive changes, progressive governance and foster discussion to inspire actions and involvement. The change and inspirations assist the companies in executing the “how” with the internal stakeholders and shareholders for ESG after identifying the “why”.Thus, a communication plan is required, and the companies need to go through strategic thought processes and planning. The main objective of this article is to provide you with some tips on how you can improve your ESG communications and build engagement.
1. Encourage advocacy and leadership among the employees
According to McKinsey and Company, 70% of employees demand purposeful work. They are expecting companies to take action on social and environmental issues. The employees will have higher job satisfaction if they get involved and lead discussion and execution on the scope of ESG.
After identifying the objectives of ESG and the scope, get the employees to be involved in the discussion of the planning action plan. Employees can provide their practical experience to validate the practicality and materiality of the planning. Other than Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO), pick the leaders for the planning and execution of ESG among the employee to ignite their passion and alleviate their knowledge of ESG. Make the employee feel connected. This way, the companies will save a lot of effort embedding ESG in operations and value chains.
2. Increase credibility with information transparency
Transparency builds credibility and minimises greenwashing. Sharing your vision, mission and progress on ESG diminish the communication gaps between you, the employees, and the other stakeholders. This approach helps set realistic goals where employees and stakeholders could provide feedback and ideas from the shared information.
ESG rating is one of the benchmarks showcasing what you have done for ESG. More important is what you plan to do after the reporting and how you would improve the rating to achieve your objectives. All this information is worth sharing to have better vision alignment with employees, other stakeholders or shareholders and attract creative ideas.
3. Use what you have to communicate and engage
Look into your existing channels. These channels are the most effective way to deliver messages and information. Your website, corporate social media accounts, or communication apps shall be your first communication contacts. These channels are the ports that employees and stakeholders use every day.
You could be creative with your existing resources to communicate and engage. For example, organising a talk and discussion with your charismatic CEO who enjoys speaking on stage or an experienced management leader who is passionate about sustainability. You could also invite external experts to share ESG topics on your channels. Besides, producing an annual ESG report can support transparency and accountability.
ESG is gaining momentum daily, and companies have started their ESG journey. A successful and strategic ESG communications and engagement plan will bring the companies to long-term sustainable business models and profit. Thinking simply and creatively are the main tips to improve your ESG communications and engagement.
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