Latest Communication articles

Top 10 mistakes in CSR communications

23 July 2012 -

(Jen Boynton)

We covered the seven signs of a great CSR report a few weeks ago, but the truth of the matter is, we see a lot more grounders and fouls than home runs when it comes to corporate sustainability communications. Here are 10 common mistakes your company might be making with its CSR communications and how to fix them.

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Is quarterly reporting inherently unsustainable?

11 June 2012 -

(Mallen Baker)

Al Gore has made the case that companies should no longer be required to produce quarterly financial reports. Such short term updates, he argues, prejudice against long-term and environmentally sustainable investing.

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So You Call This CSR? Or One of Its Many Other Names?

11 June 2012 -


It’s not a good sign when an entire profession can’t agree on what to call itself. Here’s a short list: Corporate responsibility (CR), sustainability, corporate social responsibility (CSR), sustainable development, corporate accountability, creating shared value (CSV), citizenship, and just plain social responsibility.

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Study of 600 US corporations shows disappointing progress on sustainability

15 May 2012 -

(Guardian) By Mindy Lubber

While there are pockets of best practice, there is a pressing need to increase the pace of change.

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Using social networks to spur greener behavior

20 April 2012 -

(GreenBiz) By Marc Gunther

When I interviewed Steve Case last month at GreenBiz’s VERGE conference in DC, he told me that we are entering a second Internet revolution. I’ve been thinking about that since then, and not only do I think he is right — I think the rise of social networks and the mobile Internet may be the best things to happen to sustainable business in a long time.

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3 steps to effective communication about sustainability

12 April 2012 -

(GreenBiz) By David Metcalfe

Sustainability. It’s a complicated business transforming industry to take this concept on board, and as executives gradually formulate a response to its challenges, they’ve stumbled across a new problem: communication.

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Communicating sustainability via social media has become mainstream

1 February 2012 -

(Guardian) By Matthew Yeomans

• More companies are using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and blogs to talk about sustainability than ever before
• Social Media Sustainability Index puts GE, IBM, Sony and Levi in the top ten

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Under-Promise. Over-Deliver. And Your Brand’s Fans Will Talk

20 January 2012 -

(Fast Company) By Martin Lindstrom

It’s when companies under-promise and over-deliver that people experience memorable moments that will affect their habits for a lifetime.

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Why Corporations With a Social Purpose Perform Better

18 November 2011 -

(Forbes) By Paul Klein

This article is required reading. It substantiates the emerging thinking that corporate social responsibility (CSR) as it has become known has hit a wall. The people, processes, and programs are in place, but the results aren’t good enough. Why? CSR is neither informed by, nor contributing to, the social purpose of business.

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US Firms Put CSR Communication Before Performance, KPMG Says

18 November 2011 -

(Environmental Leader)

U.S. companies are “scratching the surface” of corporate responsibility, as a whole concentrating on communication more than performance, according to a global survey by KPMG.

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Reporting Sustainability – Paul Scott at Sustainability Life 2011

18 November 2011 -


What is the current state of play in corporate sustainability reporting – and what does the future hold? This video includes a look at the role of integrated reporting in aligning business goals and embedding sustainability.

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Are investors really interested in CR data?

3 November 2011 -

(Ethical Corporation) By Rory Sullivan

The investment community needs access to better social and environmental data. One of the recurring questions in discussions around responsible investment is whether investors actually pay any attention to the data and information provided by companies about their social and environmental performance.

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Exposing the CSR Pretenders

29 October 2011 -

(CSRwire) By Dr. Wayne Visser

PR, not sustainability, is on the rise as the driving force behind many corporate CSR campaigns

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Sustainability Will Be Mainstream By 2020′

12 October 2011 -

(The Independent) By Simon Read

Sainsbury’s and Unilever have backed a major new report published today which predicts that sustainable products and services will be mainstream by 2020. The report – produced by non-profit organisation Forum for the Future – says household brands and retailers will make green living normal by the end of the decade for the sake of their profits.

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Can brands make consumers see sustainable behaviour as desirable?

7 October 2011 -

(The Guardian) by Sylvia Rowley

In Russia, in 2007, most women used deodorant only on special occasions. They would spritz their armpits with the sweet-smelling stuff to party, but not every day. As a result, Russians got through less than one pack of deodorant each per year, compared with five in the UK. For obvious reasons, this was not a habit that pleased Russian deodorant brand Rexona or its makers Unilever, so they set about changing it

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Are Your Marketing Claims ‘Green Guide’ Compliant?

13 September 2011 -

(Environmental Leader) By Elizabeth Poole – September 6, 2011
Last fall, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) proposed revisions to its “Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims,” commonly known as the “Green Guides,” first published in 1992. The agency published these proposed changes to address emerging environmental claims. The FTC has not announced a final publication date, but prudent companies will already be reflecting the FTC’s views in their labeling and advertising.

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What Your Company Can Learn From the Green Perception Gap

17 August 2011 -

(GreenBiz) By Michael Ellis- August 12, 2011
Last week, Interbrand released its inaugural list of the Best Global Green Brands of 2011 following Newsweek by a couple of years. The methodology splits out each company’s actual environmental performance as determined by a Deloitte analysis of publicly available Thomson Reuters ASSET4 data and Interbrand’s own analysis of public perception of each brand.

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Celebrities and residents use twitter to tidy London

16 August 2011 -

(EdieNet) By Luke Walsh – August 9, 2011
Celebrities and residents responded to three nights of violent unrest apparently orchestrated through social networks by using the same networks to tidy London

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Boardroom Lessons from a Social Media Misstep

15 August 2011 -

(Harvard Business Review)By Lucy P. Marcus – August 12, 2011
Board members need to understand the factors that impact their businesses. Economics, politics, and sector shifts are all vital issues on the agenda in the boardroom. But the agenda needs to keep pace with what is influencing business, and amongst the things that board members need to fully appreciate is the growing influence and power of social media. It is not just about political uprisings any more.

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First, Make Money. Also, Do Good.

15 August 2011 -

(New York Times) By Steve Lohr – August 13, 2011
CORPORATE social responsibility efforts have always struck me as the modern equivalent of John D. Rockefeller handing out dimes to the common folk. They may be well-intentioned, but they often seem like small gestures at the margins of what companies are really trying to do: make money.

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Gender and Ethics in Advertising: The New CSR Frontier?

8 August 2011 -

(Forbes) By NICOLE SKIBOLA – August 4, 2011
Earlier this year, Got Milk released an ad series targeting men who evidently suffer greatly when their female partners have PMS. created a petition denouncing the pictures that showed cowering men holding cartons of milk, with quotes over their heads like “I’m sorry for not reading between the right lines.” The campaign came complete with a website just for men,, that featured an “emergency milk locator” and a “Global PMS Scale.”

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PR created consumerism – what can it do for sustainability?

8 August 2011 -

(The Guardian) By Stephanie Draper – August 5, 2011
One of the major changes in the last century has been the rise of the consumer. But this isn’t something that just happened – the consumer was created, and the way it happened is an important lesson in engaging people on sustainable business.

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How the Sustainability Frontier Keeps Moving

8 August 2011 -

(Forbes) By GREGORY UNRUH – July 18, 2011
As Alice learns from the Red Queen in Through the Looking Glass, “It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.” The feeling is shared by corporate sustainability executives confronting the constantly shifting expectations of greater social and environmental responsibility. Call it “Red Queen Sustainability.”

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Doing Good to Do Bad?

3 August 2011 -

(National Bureau of Economic Research) – August 1, 2011
A new study released by economists Matt Kotchen of Yale University and Jon Jungbien Moon of Korea University suggests that companies engage in corporate social responsibility (CSR) in order to offset corporate social irresponsibility (CSI). They state that when companies do more “harm,” they also do more “good,” and examine case studies to prove their hypothesis.

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Sustainability Reporting Methods ‘Outdated’

14 July 2011 -

(Environmental Leader) July 11, 2011 – The current once-yearly model of commercial sustainable development reporting is looking increasingly out of date and will be replaced by myriad forms of reporting, according to research by Acona and SABMiller.

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