A survey of UK workers shows that the majority want more communication from their employer on environmental and social responsibility efforts.
The survey of 500 employees, covering a range of senior management and non-management positions, explored attitudes towards environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards.
More than half (53 per cent) of respondents said their employer did not publicise anything about their ESG behaviour at all, while over a quarter (27 per cent) had no idea whether their employer was planning to improve its approach.
However, the majority believed companies had a moral obligation to consider ESG issues, no matter what their size. Few believed only the government (18 per cent) or large companies (16 per cent) should bear the responsibility.
Most believed there was no need to compromise profitability, or would be willing to do so, to reach higher standards.
The most commonly cited source of ESG information was via internal communications channels - but only one in five (21 per cent) said this was taking place in their company. Only 37 per cent said their company had a published environmental or social policy.
Jonathan Flint, managing director of PR firm Citigate Dewe Rogerson, which commissioned the survey, said: “Public consciousness of ESG issues continues to rise, putting ever more pressure on companies to demonstrate good behaviour.
“Despite this, it is surprising that our research shows how little companies are doing to highlight their ESG activities. The potential to enhance their reputations further with comprehensive communications is substantial.”
The firm suggests companies put communications programmes in place that include the following:
• Appoint a broad-based staff committee with responsibility to regularly publish an ESG plan that outlines KPIs
• Develop social media networks among key stakeholders and use these, as well as internal communications, as platforms to announce ESG-related achievements
• Provide regular commentary of topical ESG issues where they affect the sectors in which they operate
• Conduct thought leadership initiatives worthy of mainstream media coverage. These could include research and white papers with ESG relevance
• Develop a platform to call for change and higher ESG standards
• Publish ESG performance data versus ESG benchmarks
• Seek strategic alliances with thought leaders and competitors to share best practices.