In recent years, socially conscious investors have embraced a new set of standards known as environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices as a way to assess the value of companies. This focus on ESG has become more important and impactful as of late, due largely in part to a heightened pressure for economic, social and political change in the aftermath of the global pandemic.
With this in mind, your ESG strategy should play an important role in not only your company’s strategic decision-making process—but its brand story as well. A credible and compelling ESG story should support brand reputation and help enhance relationships with your consumers and employees—ultimately leading to strong brand loyalty over the long run. This story should be communicated well and fully backed by your actions as a company.
So, how do you build and communicate an effective ESG story for your business?
1. Keep Your Audiences Top of Mind
Having an ESG story involves multiple different audiences, including CEOs, employees, consumers, stakeholders and investors. All audiences play a vital role and should be taken into consideration when developing an ESG strategy. It is crucial to provide necessary information to each audience and provide the right level of detail.
2. Use Data to Back Up Your Claims
Information without data to back it up is just information. Providing data allows companies to not only demonstrate their claims, but also prove those claims and show reasoning behind their “why” as a company. To tell an effective ESG story, you first need to bring your data to life. Showcasing your information to your audiences in a visual way, in addition to explaining the context behind it, is a great way to communicate your ESG story.
3. Determine What is Important to Your Business
Every business is different, which means that every ESG story should be uniquely different as well. Determine your business’ stance on environmental, social and governance issues, and then figure out what you can do to have a tangible impact on them. If it is not important to your business, don’t include it. If it is something your business is passionate about, make it a core part of your ESG story.
4. Align Your ESG Story With Your Business Strategy & Purpose
It is called your business’ ESG story for a reason—because it’s yours. Make sure you relate your ESG story back to your company’s brand values and goals. It should be relevant and align with all audiences across the company.
5. Actively Engage Your Employees
An ESG story starts at the root of a company—its people. Make sure your overall strategy and goals are properly communicated and everyone is on the same page. Ultimately, this will enable your company to work together in order to leverage opportunities across the spectrum of ESG issues.
ESG is a growing sector of business, and it is important for companies to stay on top of the wide variety of issues that exist. A strong and powerful ESG story can help elevate your business to the next level.
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