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Environmental sustainability has become an important issue in society, but also for corporations. Thus, this topic has raising relevance for communication departments and communicator, who have to integrate sustainability in campaigns, branding, stakeholder dialogues, and corporate reporting. More an more companies use the topic as part of the corporate strategy.
A distinction can be drawn between sustainability communications and sustainable communications.
It’s no surprise that sustainability isn’t only part of corporate strategies, but has been a popular topic for communication departments. Sustainability communications is an established practice in most corporations. It refers to sustainability as a core topic for communication campaigns, branding, stakeholder dialogues, and corporate reporting.
Sustainable communications refers to the sustainability of processes, platforms, media, and products of corporate communications. Companies measure and document their ecological impact in order to meet the stakeholder expectations and differentiate themselves from competitors.
John Edelman, Managing Director Global Engagement & Corporate Responsibility, Edelman
Even if concepts for defining and measuring communication footprints have yet to be developed, there are already some steps that communication departments can take today. This helps to make their activities – from running websites, staging events, and producing publications to occupying office space and traveling – more sustainable:
Ecological sustainability – in the sense of the long-term, gentle use of natural resources – is expected to be an integral part of corporate strategies. Sustainability isn’t only an obligation to prevent risks such as loss of acceptance, but also actively offers opportunities such as building reputation or increasing brand value.
The growing relevance of sustainability is driven by various stakeholders simultaneously:
The Communications Trend Radar 2021 project was conducted by a research team of the Leipzig and the University of Duisburg-Essen.
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