WEDNESDAY 30 SEP 2020 3:36 PM


Europe’s biggest blue-chip companies failing to provide evidence to support ESG agendas A new study by communications consultancy Bladonmore reveals that 100 of Europe’s largest blue-chip companies have found a significant gap between high-level environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) statements and evidence to support such claims in action.

Bladonmore reviewed the corporate websites of all companies included in the STOXX All Europe100 index during August 2020. The findings showed most businesses acknowledging the importance of ESG, highlighting their CSR credentials with bold statements and targets in their headline messaging, they regularly fail to back it with the content needed to brings these stories to life. Ultimately, this suggests that some of the claims are not credible.

While 69% reference ESG or social responsibility goals in their purpose statements and 62% refer to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, only 22% discuss ESG issues in interviews with the CEO and 19% promote employee voices on ESG.

 “Businesses are obviously tuned in to the issues – and many have strong stories to tell – but too often the message is just virtue signaling rather than actually grounded in real stories. We would encourage companies to provide more evidence of their high-level claims across their corporate websites,” says managing partner at Bladonmore Richard Carpenter.

 The report looks at both the messenger and the medium that companies are using to communicate, such as how they promote employee voices, use film content or structure their social responsibility targets.

“It was important for us to analyse the quality of the content being produced, just as much as what is actually on the websites. Companies may have huge ESG sections with a load of information, but how effective is that content at communicating the message? How much is buried deep within PDFs rather than being brought to life?” adds Tom Brown, associate consultant at Bladonmore and co-author of the report.

The report reveals that in terms of online ESG communications, German industrial giant Siemens is leading the group, with Swedish technology group Ericsson a close second, and Anglo-Dutch consumer goods conglomerate Unilever in third