Repurposing ESG Content for Maximum Impact
Creating a sustainability report (SR) takes significant efforts from multiple content authors and subject matter experts across your organization. After it is done, you will be flush with content that can be used in a variety of ways to further your business.
New stories, graphics and data about your organization’s efforts can be leveraged by other departments to address the specific needs and wants of your key constituents. Repurposed content will reinforce your message and create cost and time efficiencies. By consistently reinforcing your message, you can differentiate your brand and further showcase environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) as instrumental to who you are and how you operate.
Six Ways You Can Share ESG Messaging Beyond Your SR
Companies are increasingly being asked to provide ESG information upfront, in the bidding and procurement process (typically for Scope 3 Emissions accountability purposes). You can equip commercial and sales teams with messaging, data, graphics, statements, etc. that can be incorporated into RFPs, bids, and/or pitches to communicate and demonstrate what you are doing to impact indirect emissions that occur in your company’s value chain.
Sharing content with your marketing teams for use in external communications is a no-brainer. They can use relevant copy, stories, infographics, and charts to create and update the collateral they use to tell your company’s story in their work. And, they can use this content on digital channels to reinforce ESG messaging on social media or in email campaigns.
3. Internal Communications
It is critical that employees understand the company’s ESG efforts and what is being done in support of achieving the desired outcomes. Employees are on the front lines of interactions with customers, suppliers and the community, acting as de facto brand ambassadors. Sharing repurposed content from SRs will help them understand what is happening that they might not be aware of (which is very common!) and lets them know that these efforts are real and actionable, not just part of your marketing. This helps build awareness, understanding and support for your efforts to ensure ESG is believed and lived within your culture.
Research reveals that millennials and Generation Z are interested in a company’s ESG commitment and the impact it makes beyond creating shareholder value. They want to work for organizations that are aligned to their own personal values. Content can be leveraged in recruiting materials to showcase what your company cares about and the efforts you are making to have a positive impact on the world.
5. License to Operate
For companies entering or working in new or emerging markets, having strong ESG practices is increasingly considered to be essential by the welcoming countries. The price to enter and remain in these locations, is to make an effort toward positive contributions in the region.
Contributions include hiring locally, providing education, health and wellness resources, or reducing environmental footprints and disruptions. In addition, for companies that operate in Europe, environmental and social practices are already an important part of a company’s ability to conduct business. Content created for your SR can be used to show how your company is dedicated to these practices already.
6. Community Relations
SR content can also support community engagement efforts as companies expand operations domestically. Efforts to reverse the “not in my backyard” mentality could benefit from revealing stories of the good companies are doing. By understanding what a local community is concerned about, you can select relevant SR content on that specific topic and use it as a stand-alone asset in mailers, handouts, newsletters, or town halls. For example, a community may be concerned about a company’s water usage and treatment. If that topic is material to your organization and in your SR, you can use that content to create a separate overview brochure or presentation specific to the issue.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on September 15, 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
As President at Savage Brands, Bethany is known for forging powerful connections – connecting people to people and connecting companies with the fresh ideas that make their brands purposeful. In her recent book, "Get Your Head Out of Your Bottom Line and Build Your Brand on Purpose," Bethany conveys to business leaders the importance of leading with purpose.