A version of this post was previously published on Beyond Bylines
Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) news continues to dominate in 2022, as companies announce their major advancements and achievements in sustainability. How can you break through and be a part of the conversation?
To help PR and IR pros get a sense of how they might approach their own ESG messaging, we looked at the latest ESG press releases from PR Newswire to uncover three trends in how companies are positioning themselves for the rest of the year.
1. Established Products Go Green
For companies that have long-standing products, sustainability measures are creating new opportunities to announce new or enhanced products. Older, more established companies are looking for ways to differentiate and compete with up-and-coming disruptors, and ESG is a fantastic way to win customer sentiment and shareholder attention.
Here are a few recent examples of how companies are create a new narrative for their brands around ESG:
- Cole Haan introduced its first sustainable shoe to help compete with newcomers like Allbirds.
- Dial partnered with Plastic Bank Recycling Corporation, TerraCycle, and Solidaridad to help reduce plastic consumption across all products.
2. Companies Give Back
More and more companies seem to be taking every opportunity to give back to society and the environment. Charitable acts help boost brand awareness and build stronger ties to all stakeholders of a company, from customers to shareholders.
See how the following companies announced developments on the social responsibility front:
- Blackbaud’s 2021 Charitable Giving Report showed a 9% year-over-year increase in US-based charitable giving to $46 billion.
- General Motors is dedicating $50 million to its Climate Equity Fund – a charitable endeavor that seeks to create a carbon-neutral future.
3. ESG News at the Ready
Many public and private companies are scrambling to get the message out on their ESG efforts in 2022. Some are announcing new sustainability initiatives while others are showcasing their inclusion on “top ESG” lists from major publications and institutional investors. All these efforts are leading toward one critical aspect: readiness.
Understanding that timeliness matters, companies are not taking a “wait-and-see” approach to ESG. Instead, public companies (and private organizations on the cusp of making a public debut) are making strong efforts in ESG disclosure to satisfy several demands.
Here are just a couple of how companies reported their ESG announcements in February:
- DFIN noted in its ESG Pulse Report that 90% of business leaders are unprepared for upcoming ESG reporting requirements.
- Republic Services was named to Barron’s 100 Most Sustainable Companies List for 2022.
Messaging matters. In addition to making a strong commitment to ESG, it’s important for PR and IR pros to understand the right way to talk about it. The above releases should serve as examples of not just what companies and brands are talking about, but how they’re saying it.
If you have an ESG story to tell about your brand, now is the time to shine a spotlight on it.
Ready to create your ESG comms strategy? Check out our Ultimate ESG Toolkit for Communicators.