by Nicolle Huffman

May 24, 2023

Congratulations – you did it! You gathered and refined your stories. You collected and validated all your data. You updated policies and programs and made sure the information was publicly available. You launched your annual ESG or sustainability report. Now everyone can take a deep breath…

However, highlighting your company’s progress in the annual ESG/sustainability report isn’t the only place those stories should be shared. As milestones and initiatives occur throughout the year, take the opportunity to provide your stakeholders with timely updates.

How can you leverage your stories and points of progress during the reporting “off season”? Here are three ways to highlight your ESG/sustainability communications:

1. Share stories on a dedicated webpage or website: In the past, companies would post their annual ESG/sustainability report to their website and not revisit it until the following year. However, more companies are using their website to post ongoing updates throughout the year.

This portion of the website, which could take the form of a microsite, can be used to post stories, policy updates, downloadable fact sheets, quarterly data and more.

ITW shares how the organization is engaging in ESG/sustainability-related activities, focusing on its four pillars, throughout the year. Here’s a screenshot from the company’s website:

ITW Sustainability Activities

Full disclosure: ITW is a Dix & Eaton client.

2. Share on social: Sharing ESG updates on social media is a great way to reach various stakeholders. It can also help drive traffic to ESG/sustainability information posted on your company website.

Don’t be afraid to get creative! Ask your employees to take photos or create an Instagram reel at various volunteer activities, for example.

Nestlé USA’s Instagram feed (and LinkedIn feed) is filled with relatable content that helps showcase the company’s commitment to ESG/sustainability efforts. From employee spotlights to Q&As with its sustainability execs, Nestlé’s social presence offers comprehensive best-practice examples. The story highlights on Instagram align with key ESG/sustainability topics as well.

Nestle Instagram Page Screenshot

3. Share your stories with local media: Local media are often interested in publishing human interest stories and present an opportunity to share your ESG/sustainability efforts in the communities in which you operate. When your organization is giving back to the community, be sure to reach out to local reporters (broadcast, radio, print, etc.) to see if they are interested in writing about your efforts.

Here’s an example of a group of McDonald’s employees in Texas who led a “give back day” to support a local nonprofit, Los Barrios de Amarillo.

News article of McDonald's: "McDonald's Gives Back Day to benefit Los Barrios de Amarillo"

How do you share your stories during your ESG/sustainability reporting “off season?” If you want to chat about other creative ways to promote your progress, send me an email.