The best leave the rest behind: sustainability leaders unveiled in 7th CSR Online Awards Italy

Published exclusively in leading Italian business daily Il Sole 24 Ore, the 7th Italian edition of the CSR Online Awards has identified companies that are leading the way in adopting digital as a strategic asset for sustainability and revealed successful approaches in the use of social media and digital storytelling. The study sounds a warning about a broader lack of transparency among Italy’s biggest companies, both in terms of non-financial reporting and online transparency.






The top of the ranking was dominated by a group of companies that stand head and shoulders above their peers, with gas utility Snam emerging as the winner of the awards for the first time, followed by Eni and TIM. Only six companies managed to score above 50 points, including Salini Impregilo as best improver. Overall, the average score remained almost unchanged at 37 out of 100.





Big data reveals trends in use of Facebook and Twitter


This year, the CSR Online Awards embraced big data to offer important new insights into how companies are using Facebook and Twitter to engage stakeholders on sustainability topics.


Thanks to a collaboration with data management agency Twig, we crunched a year of data from over 100 corporate accounts, looking at the topics covered and engagement generated.


Encouragingly, over one in five posts addressed sustainability and CSR topics, showing how they are becoming part of the conversation between companies and their fans and followers. Energy and industrial companies ERG, Enel, Edison and CNH Industrial emerged as those generating most engagement from sustainability.






Greater transparency needed for the digital age



There is a worrying lack of basic transparency, which led to over half of the Italian companies considered being “failed” in the research, twice as many as in our flagship Europe 100 ranking.





We rejected over a third of the biggest Italian listed companies for not having a structured reporting process for non-financial information, the foundation for any credible communications. This is particularly worrying as this kind of disclosure becomes mandatory for many firms.



A further 29 companies, despite publishing a CSR or sustainability report, were “failed” for not providing the basic information online that stakeholders demand. In our latest user survey, less than a third of respondents said reading a report was a priority when finding information about a company’s sustainability or CSR.



About the research

The CSR Online Awards, developed and conducted by Lundquist since 2008, is Europe’s first and most authoritative research into how companies communicate and engage on sustainability and CSR (corporate social responsibility). Thanks to our specialisation in digital, we track the evolution of sustainability and capture trends in the relationship between business and society.



The Italian edition included 100 companies – the largest listed corporations and leading unlisted brands – and ranked them in terms of transparency and engagement on environmental, social and governance (ESG) topics. The evaluations covered our 7 pillars of online CSR communications, ranging from ESG content through to social media and sustainability storytelling.



Our evaluation criteria are based on the input of over 1,850 sustainability experts and CSR professionals internationally over the past nine years, including over 230 people who responded to our latest survey on trends in materiality, engagement and transparency.


Forthcoming: our flagship research examining 100 top European companies and rankings for Switzerland (Top 50) and Germany (Top 30). Due for publication: July 2017.


For full information on the CSR Online Awards Italy Top 100 download our white paper (in Italian)


For information or to order a Performance Report, contact

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