This ranking investigates how companies communicate corporate responsibility and sustainability on their corporate website and engage stakeholders on digital and social channels. Today it represents a benchmark for dozens of corporations in Europe and beyond.
How the research works
The study allows us to assess company websites and related digital and social media presence using an evaluation protocol organised around the seven “pillars” of online CR communications developed. The criteria are based on surveys of actual users of CR and sustainability information, professionals such as analysts, journalists, people working for NGOs and the non-profit sector, academics and consultants. Over 1,600 people have responded since the research was launched in 2007. over the past few years.
Changing assessment methodology around 7 pillars
After evolving gradually over the previous five editions, the evaluation approach was substantially revamped from its previous organisation around 3 macro-areas (Content, User experience and Ongoing engagement). In order to have a more flexible evaluation and give greater importance to areas such as engaging content and social media, the assessment was organised around seven “pillars”:
- Concrete: providing a core set of environmental, social and governance information, from policies and guidelines to data and targets
- Exhaustive: allowing users to see “under the bonnet” with more detailed disclosure (for example on stakeholder engagement and target achievement)
- User friendly: speedy and intuitive navigation, reporting formats, accessibility from mobile devices, search functionality as well as the user experience more generally
- Ongoing: keeping stakeholders updated on a regular basis (through news, blogs, etc.) and remaining open to feedback and comment
- Social: leveraging social media to listen, inform and engage both in generic corporate channels and in accounts specifically geared to audiences interested in CR or sustainability
- Integrated: taking the CR message to stakeholders across the corporate website, for example as part of the presentation of the company and information aimed at investors, journalists and jobseekers
- Distinctive: using digital to tell an engaging, unique story that focuses on the most important issues and shows what strategy means in day-to-day, concrete contexts through storytelling, video and visual communication
We looked more closely not only at what was communicated in terms of content (Concrete, Exhaustive) but also at how it was communicated (Distinctive) and where it was positioned (Integrated). Our ultimate goal is to ensure an evaluation that assesses digital communications in direct relationship with the most relevant and important sustainability information and not for its own sake.
Read our news item explaining how European companies performed in our latest research.