ESG – that’s ‘Environmental, Social and Governance’ – is a big trend being talked about by thought leaders and business leaders for 2021. It has become even more important as the year has progressed, with questions of ethics and social consciousness being asked of world leaders, big business and even celebrities – Dua Lipa, Little Mix and The Weeknd all touched on social and political issues while accepting their Brit Awards last week, with the winners who didn’t potentially appearing out of touch to viewers and fans.
ESG as an opportunity for PR is the subject of our next webinar, on Wednesday 19 May, which will cover our exclusive report The ESG opportunity for PR with authors Stephen Waddington and Dr Jon White, alongside contributor Rebecca Zeitlin. You can sign up for the webinar here, but in the meantime, here are five reasons why ESG should be on your mind and in your comms strategies…
1) The legacy we leave behind is important
‘The ESG agenda is a very clear area of growth for next year,’ said Astute.Work and #FuturePRoof’s Sarah Waddington when considering upcoming challenges and opportunities for the public relations industry. ‘With this we have an unrivalled opportunity to help organisations embrace green, build social capital and think about the legacy they’d like to leave for future generations.’
2) The majority of millennials care about ESG approaches
According to the 5WPR 2020 Consumer Culture Report, 83% of Millennials believe it’s important for the companies they buy from to share their beliefs and values. And there are a lot of Millennials out there, who’ll be around for a while yet, making purchasing decisions, and deciding which brands and people are worthy of engaging with.
3) The pandemic has sped things up – in technology and in ethics
‘Attitudes to ESG are rapidly changing because of the COVID-19 pandemic,’ says Hybrid Air Vehicles head of communications and external affairs Rebecca Zeitlin. ‘Scrutiny is the single word that I’d used to describe what’s brought ESG to the fore as an issue. The pandemic has created an opportunity to think and act differently’.
4) Your boss probably sees potential in investing in ESG
According to recent research from Grayling, 63% of senior leaders believe that businesses have a responsibility to society at large, and 85% also believe collective responsibility is important for future business success.
5) … yet, not enough organisations in the PR sector have an ESG agenda yet
Our recent study of ESG in PR found that only a third (31%) of organisations have policy in place to manage ESG while 41% said that it’s currently a ‘work in progress’… meaning there is lots of opportunity to get it started and to get it right for your colleagues, your stakeholders and your clients, both present and future.
Check out our webinar The ESG opportunity for PR for all things ESG policy as well as discussion of our exclusive report: The ESG opportunity for PR with authors Stephen Waddington and Dr Jon White, and contributor Rebecca Zeitlin.