Sustainable transformation starts at the top of organizations, with business leaders and managers internalizing the sustainability story. They need to get the right message out and do what they say: actions speak louder than words.
At the same time, managers must seize every opportunity to explain why they are initiating certain actions based on the company's mission and vision - and they must clarify the consequences of those actions for stakeholders.
Moreover, employees must be given the opportunity to make their own suggestions, to act sustainably and to launch sustainability initiatives.
Consequently, the expectations of various stakeholders have changed and companies therefore need to be aware of some essential aspects of sustainability communications.
#1 Practice what you preach
Talking about your sustainability efforts is one thing. To walk the talk, you need to consistently demonstrate that you are innovating sustainably and implementing good practices.
Anything you claim can now be verified by anyone through various online channels. Stakeholders trust organizations when what they communicate is reflected in tangible results.
The roll-out of an optimal sustainability roadmap is often strenuous and complex. Openly addressing issues and challenges among different stakeholders not only strengthens trust, it also creates an opportunity to take their input and suggestions on board and improve your plans.
#4 Are you ready to engage?
Sustainability communications is not a one-way street. Interaction with your different internal and external stakeholders is vital. Critical questions, different points of view and discussions are part of the game, which means a certain loss of control on the company’s side. At the same time, it also presents an opportunity to learn from these interactions and make your scope of action richer.
Successful sustainability communications requires careful long-term planning and investment. Trust and credibility will only grow with regular commitment and follow-through on all levels of the organization.
Our sustainability communications experts are specialized in connecting the dots between sustainability strategy, corporate communications and different, relevant stakeholders. Our communication experts work side-by-side with ESG experts in KPMG Sustainability Services to offer a unique and truly integrated service at every stage of your sustainability transformation.
How we can help
KPMG sustainability communications experts can provide the following services:
- Finger on the pulse: assess current communication practices to define gaps & opportunities;
- Sustainability vision & narrative: help organizations find purpose and direction;
- Brand positioning: integrate sustainability in the DNA of your brand;
- Communications strategy: build an effective and hands-on approach on a solid sustainability strategy and audience insights;
- Internal engagement: create buy-in that motivates your people so everyone is up for it;
- Campaigns: launch engaging campaigns that inspire and move audiences;
- Creative execution: develop tools and reports with content and stories that matter and have an impact.