Wednesday, January 25, 2012

10 ways to liberate the sustainability report

Yesterday saw the publication of the SMI-Wizness Social Media Sustainability Index, a must-read for anyone who wants to know who are the corporate movers and shakers of the social media cypermap and what they are doing and why.  According to the report, authored by the social-media master Matthew Yeomans, "a new landscape of social media sustainability has emerged. Today, at least 250 major corporates are engaged in some form of social media sustainability comms and more than 100 have a blog, YouTube, Facebook or Twitter channel dedicated to talking about sustainability."

The report ranks the social media practices of 100 top rated sustainable companies (selected from existing listings and green rankings) provided they have a blog, Facebook page, Twitter account or YouTube channel..  If you are serious about socmed, then at least one of these options is a must-have.
Companies today are using social media "to not just communicate their sustainability stance but also to involve the public in building a better world". The main ways in which they do this include hiring experienced filmmakers, writers and reporters to tell a complicated story well, crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, creating alliances with NGOs, charities and conservation watchdogs to support common goals and raise awareness, leveraging the public through campaigns and contests, and more. Twitter is the main platform used by corporates, followed by Facebook, YouTube and a Company blog. See the full report to see who does what best. But here's a hint. The top ten in social media.

The methodology of calculating the ranking for the 100 companies in the sample is based on a score of a maximum 100 points which include the following parameters:

• Useful communication: possible 20 points
• Commitment to community: possible 20 points
• Transparency (allowing comments and replying) - 10 points
• Communicating actions not beliefs - possible 10 points
• Social media shareable CR/Sustainability Report - possible 10 points
• Regular updates of social media communication - possible 10 points
• Creative storytelling - possible 20 points

GE came out as the overall best with a score of 93 points, retaining its first place from last year because of consistent leverage of social media channels to advance the Ecomagination and Healthimagination agendas, and also because of its "App". There are actually several companies who are using Apps to make their reports accessible to a wider audience, as I mentioned in my article earlier this month. Apps will become commonplace for Sustainability Reports, I have no doubt. Pretty soon we will need an App to track the Sustainability Report Apps. VF corporation made it into 7th place with 84 points (from nowhere last year) , mainly because of its Timberland acquisition. The Top Ten SocMed Swingers' best practices are profiled in the report which makes for fascinating reading and offers inspiration for companies which haven't yet staked their claim.

One thing that was of particular interest to reporting geeks like me was Matthew Yeoman's analysis entitled "10 ways to liberate the sustainability report". This year, 36% of the 100 companies reviewed in the index have used social media to "liberate their reports from the dungeons of disinterest" (wow, a little harsh, maybe? Remind me to take a look in my local dungeon for the 64% which have apparently stayed there). Anyway, 36% is more more than double the number of companies which were reported to be dungeon-free  last year. The ones who are picked out for commendation are:
Finally, the report also lists the top 100 Sustainability Twitterers (among which I am proud to be counted) and I will now happily call myself a member of the Wizness Green Twitterati. 22 of the 100 are company twitter handles and 20 are NGO's. A good a #CSR #FF list as ever there was.

By now it is clear that Sustainability without Social Media is like Ice Cream without a Spoon. It's all in the delivery. The SMI-Wizness Social Media Sustainability Index will help you think about what companies are doing today to leverage their sustainability platforms through all the social media possibilities that are available. The author even offers a checklist to help companies get thinking about telling their social stories. The only thing that's missing is what flavor ice-cream the corporate bloggers prefer.

elaine cohen, CSR consultant, Sustainability Reporter, HR Professional, Ice Cream Addict. Author of CSR for HR: A necessary partnership for advancing responsible business practices Contact me via  on Twitter or via my business website  (BeyondBusiness, an inspired CSR consulting and Sustainability Reporting firm)

1 comment:

David Darmawan said...

sustainability getting more support from social media and the corporate may used it to "brain wash" their audience. For sure the CSR commuity may create a netrics for that!

Related Posts with Thumbnails