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How insurers are adapting their sustainability communications to the digital age

The immediacy of digital communications and social media poses a particular challenge to insurers, which tend to deal with issues that are important but complex, placeless and long-term while engagement thrives on the here-and-now.

 

In an article for industry journal Insurance Day published this week, I examine how digital is forcing European insurance companies to evolve their corporate responsibility (CR) and sustainability approaches. Traditionally focused on a coterie of of specialists and experts, companies have realised that environmental, social and governance topics are entwined with business performance and customer trust. Corporate responsibility should therefore not be somehow separate from the rest of a business’s communications but deeply integrated into its agenda, all the more so in a digital age.

Come sta cambiando il panorama della sostenibilità in Italia: quattro scenari, due possibili risposte

Negli ultimi due anni non vi è stato nessun sostanziale cambiamento nel panorama italiano a livello di numero di società quotate che hanno avviato processi di rendicontazione di sostenibilità: questo uno dei risultati più importanti della nostra ultima ricerca CSR Online Awards.

 

È in questi ultimi mesi, invece, che stiamo assistendo a una importante trasformazione del panorama in termini di approccio alla sostenibilità d’impresa, grazie all’entrata in vigore, a partire dall’esercizio 2017, del D.lgs. 30 dicembre 2016 n. 254, che recepisce la Direttiva europea riguardante la comunicazione di informazioni di carattere non finanziario.

Taking sustainability to the board level

Lundquist CSR Online AwardsWhat do investors think about sustainability issues? Do these issues influence their investment decisions? The need to mitigate risks, enhance long-term performance and attract younger investors is increasingly pushing investors to consider sustainability issues in their investment decisions.

 

With this in mind, how are companies and legislation responding to this changing scenario? At the beginning of this year we discussed the increased importance of ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) issues for investors and how this leads to increased internal collaboration between the legal affairs, investor relations, corporate communications and sustainability teams. EU legislation is now also pushing companies to address non-financial issues. By December 2016, EU Member States should transpose the rules on non-financial reporting into national legislation (Directive 2014/95/EU).

 

We are hiring!

Job opening: sustainability reporting consultant

 

Lundquist is at the heart of the transformation of corporate sustainability and is looking to expand its award-winning team to further its work in creating and implementing innovative solutions in sustainability reporting, communications and engagement.

 

We’re looking for an experienced and ambitious professional who has the flair to combine methodological rigour with stakeholder-centric, engaging solutions. We need a number-cruncher with incredible attention for detail who will support our clients in their sustainability reporting, specifically in terms of adherence to international guidelines and respect for regulatory requirements in non-financial disclosure, implementing stakeholder engagement methodologies, developing materiality analyses as well as setting in place and managing data collection and processes for measuring social and environmental impacts.

 

The position is full time and based in Milan with both English and Italian as working languages. Starting date: December 2016.

Four Top Mistakes Experts See in Online CSR Communication
Burnout! by Skley, on Flickr

 

And yet, when it seems that the hardest choices have been made, there it comes, the external opinion, the outside perspective. It’s the most unpredictable part of the process due to the variety of people out there with differing habits, expectations and opinions. What’s more, on-screen reading habits mean users will absorb only a small fraction of your actual content.

 

At Lundquist, we’ve been asking experts, professionals and stakeholders what frustrates them most while navigating corporate sustainability information online and engaging with companies. It’s research we’ve been doing over the past years as part of the CSR Online Awards, drawing on input from 1,600 people. We’ve been looking at the initial reactions in our latest survey, currently ongoing. Here are top four errors to avoid, according to the people who spend most time sifting through online CSR disclosures:

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