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.


Placing digital sustainability communications under the microscope

Through our CSR Online Awards research, we monitor how companies engage with CR and sustainability topics via their corporate digital communication channels, looking specifically at content, usability, engagement and storytelling.


The research examines over 250 European companies across 10 sectors, offering individual company insights as well as overall industry trends. To understand how social channels are used, we crunched thousands of social media posts filtering with a list of 200 sustainability keywords and hashtags to discern which topics are most covered by companies and how well they generate engagement with users.


The best get better

According to the findings of our most recent CSR Online Awards research, insurance companies struggle to effectively communicate their position on relevant CSR issues. The financial services sector, where insurance companies have been included, ranks 7th out of 10 industry groups, while top performers were resource, energy and health companies.


We’ve already written a piece about the situation in banking in the International Banker. In insurance, industry leaders such as Aviva, Axa, Munich Re, Swiss Re, and Zurich Insurance Group are changing their game as they dedicate their social media pages to thought leadership on industry relevant topics like income protection, flood resilience, health, or cyber risk. Some are also building stronger stakeholder engagement programmes to help them align their approach with customer values.


Read the article in Insurance Day here 

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Latest news

Getting left behind? CSR communications in Switzerland undermined by low transparency

The performance of Swiss companies in the 7th edition of the CSR Online Awards is undermined by a lack of transparency, an issue that has not improved since our previous edition of the research two years ago.


The top of the ranking of 57 leading Swiss companies – published today in association with Bilanz magazine – remains little changed from the past. Nestlé maintains its dominance in the top spot (63.5 points), comfortably beating Roche (55.25) and Credit Suisse (52.5) into 2nd and 3rd place respectively. But the wider picture is marred by the fact that a majority of the companies we studied don’t meet basic levels of non-financial transparency on environmental, social and governance topics, either online or in formal reports.

Deadline for Webranking evaluations set for Aug. 31

On Thursday August 31st we will be closing the 2017-2018 edition of Webranking for the year, the annual ranking measuring the quality of online financial and corporate communications. The Italian, Swiss, and Austrian editions of Webranking by Comprend are carried out and coordinated by Lundquist.


This is the last call for companies to notify us of any significant changes made to their websites during the month of August, by sending us, via e-mail, a list of links to the pages that have been altered.


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