When it comes to sustainability and corporate responsibility, companies “talk” more than they “walk” according to a report on sustainability communication by the Stockholm School of Economics.
Sustainability and corporate responsibility (S/CR) is something that has become increasingly important for companies, or at least something that takes up more and more time in corporate communication from companies. And this makes sense since it is a subject that consumers have started to care more about.
But do companies actually walk the talk that they preach in their corporate sustainability communication?
This is the core question of a report by the Stockholm School of Economics exploring Sweden’s largest listed companies from different sectors.
Who walks the talk and who doesn’t?
An interesting finding is that overall the companies don’t live up to their sustainability talk, which was the same overall finding from the school’s report from the previous year. However, some companies also performed very well. The Swedish Telecom company Ericson is among the so-called silent walkers as they walk more than they talk. The companies Volvo, Nordea, NCC, and Skanska are talking low-performers. In other words, they put more work into talking about what they will do compared to their actual performance.
AAK is among the six companies that have a great balance between how much sustainability work they say they have done and how much they actually have accomplished.
Sustainability and corporate responsibility has moved up the strategic agenda
Another interesting and positive finding is that the companies have moved sustainability and corporate responsibility issues higher up on the strategic agenda. Moreover, 90 percent of the companies have defined sustainability and corporate responsibility targets, and these targets typically address more than one dimension of S/CR.