Four strategies for delivering strategic ESG communication

With investors, consumers, and regulators increasingly valuing ESG performance as a benchmark for sustainable growth and responsible governance, producing effective ESG communication is the key to conveying your organisation’s values and commitments to stakeholders.

ESG communication transparently showcases your company’s efforts in environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and effective governance, as well as increasing trust, improving reputation, and driving positive social impact by being open with all stakeholders, from investors and customers to employees and communities.

In this article, we detail four key strategies to support the delivery of strategic ESG communication that will resonate with your key stakeholders.

Building a strong ESG proposition

An ESG proposition encompasses all the ways an organisation approaches its management of the broad set of environmental, social, and governance issues that are critical to its long-term sustainability.

While the traditional value proposition is focused on the benefits of a product or service to consumers, an organisation’s ESG proposition is a more comprehensive statement about its principles, values and actions in relation to sustainability and how it is creating long-term value for the organisation and all stakeholders.

An effective ESG proposition helps organisations to:

  • build trust and credibility with stakeholders
  • enhance reputation
  • build a thriving workforce culture
  • demonstrate effective management of environmental, social and governance risks
  • drive financial performance, competitiveness and reduce costs.

Integrating ESG into business strategy

A key element of crafting a compelling ESG proposition and aligning business objectives with social and environmental goals includes developing a comprehensive ESG strategy, which shows how the organisation plans to integrate ESG considerations into its operations and decision-making processes.

ESG considerations should be integrated into the core of business strategy, influencing decision-making processes, and driving innovation. Companies that embed ESG principles into their operations are better positioned to mitigate risks, capitalise on opportunities, and foster long-term value creation.

The first step in ensuring ESG strategies and plans will be effective is to conduct a comprehensive risk and opportunity assessment, to identify the relevant ESG risks that an organisation may be exposed to and the sustainability issues that are material to the organisation’s sector and their operations. Companies must then identify and prioritise ESG issues that are material to their business operations and stakeholders.

Engaging with stakeholders

A key element of a successful ESG strategy is engaging with stakeholders, including employees, investors, customers, and communities, to understand the issues that are important to them and their perspectives and priorities in relation to the organisation and ESG considerations.

Stakeholder engagement helps to identify and prioritise stakeholder concerns, develop effective communication and engagement strategies, and enable organisations to incorporate this stakeholder feedback into their decision-making processes.

Many organisations use the intelligence gained from stakeholder engagement, to inform decision-making on specific ESG-related initiatives or programs, ensuring strong alignment between corporate ESG strategies, implementation activities and the issues and concerns most important to their key stakeholders.

Telling your ESG story

In addition to mandatory requirements to report and disclose relevant ESG information to their stakeholders, there are many opportunities for organisations to effectively communicate their ESG strategy, performance and impact.

An ESG communication strategy should be prepared, which includes targeted messaging and engagement strategies for each individual stakeholder group.

The opportunities for communicating your ESG story include creating compelling content that effectively communicates your ESG strategy, securing media coverage in mainstream media outlets, or implementing a communication campaign to engage stakeholders and communicate your commitment to sustainability.

How can we help?

By identifying, activating and communicating a strong ESG proposition, we help clients effectively communicate their commitment to ESG and demonstrate the value that it can bring to their stakeholders.

Phillips Group deploys leading best-practice engagement and research methodologies to uncover insights into stakeholder expectations and concerns around ESG issues, conducts ESG risk and opportunity assessments, works with your teams to develop ESG communication strategies, and develops and implements communication campaigns to tell your ESG story.

By working together, we help organisations develop and communicate a strong ESG proposition that drives long-term success and delivers value to all their stakeholders.

Connect with Group Executive Director, Corporate, Andrew Buckley today.