Communicating sustainability efforts to all those affected by a business’s operations is an integral part of corporate responsibility

As growing numbers of investors and customers are waking up to the benefits of corporate social responsibility, companies are trying as hard as ever to publicise their sustainability efforts effectively and persuade stakeholders to follow suit.

Most companies realise that changing the way they do business to make it more sustainable is inevitable, and sharing and endorsing that message is good business, not just a side strategy, says Ed Gillespie, co-founder of Futerra Sustainability Communications, an agency with offices in London, Stockholm and New York.

“It’s not just about saving energy in headquarters, it’s about looking at whole new ways to operate,” Gillespie says. “We’re moving past the initial ideas of reducing greenhouse gases and climate change to paying living wages. It’s the idea that businesses have a responsibility not just to the business, but to others.”

The lengthy annual sustainability reports are still required reading for board members and managers, but clever communication strategies are also opening new territory. While the medium varies depending on the sector and type of business, more efforts are going into social media and ways to involve customers, partners and investors. According to Gillespie, companies now want to come across not only as “hard-nosed commercial...

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