Benchmarking sustainability for corporate communications

Workshop Sustainability in Corporate Communications - Prof. Dr. Ulrike Röttger
Workshop on sustainability in corporate communications

On January 19, our expert workshop on sustainability as a benchmark for corporate communications took place at Henkel in Düsseldorf. The workshop is part of a research project by Prof. Dr. Ulrike Röttger and Lennart Rettler at the University of Münster and followed the research method Action Research. This method involves practitioners in the process of gaining knowledge. As part of the workshop, the sustainability of corporate communication was questioned and what contribution communication makes to the transformation of a sustainable company.

20 experts came to the conclusion that communication is a decisive lever for the transformation of companies and society towards greater sustainability.

The key takeaways were:

  • Less is more: Broad 360° coverage is not always effective. Instead, focusing on target groups & channels ensures more efficient and sustainable communication about sustainability.
  • Consistency and simplicity: Clear, simple language with consistent naming of topics is fundamental for a common discourse. Words such as “environmentally friendly”, “climate neutral” or “green strategy” are viewed critically and could be misleading for stakeholders.
  • Sharing is caring: Sharing best practices and using synergies are important in order to become more sustainable together. This principle applies both internally within the company and across company boundaries.
  • Empowerment of all stakeholders: Companies have a responsibility to educate their stakeholders. Transparent communication about the company’s sustainability practices is the only way to make informed decisions for a more sustainable future.