Sustainly’s Index Proves Doing Sustainability Well Isn’t Rocket Science

Sustainly’s annual social media sustainability index published

The 6th Annual Social Media Sustainability Index published this week by Sustainly, sees GE and Unilever share the top spot for the second year in a row out of the 475 global companies examined.

The report is an interesting read, and well worth the short investment of your time, not only because our own Lifebuoy campaign for Unilever is called out on the Infographic.

Sustainly’s robust auditing shows while no one is perfect, authenticity, transparency, demonstrable action, innovation and regular communications are important to get ahead.

So, while the tactics are varied, it is no surprise to see that the top 10 companies have the same formula for success:

  1. A public pledge with substance: All of the top 10 have put their purpose at the centre of their organisation to really show their commitment to live more sustainably.
  2. An ownable space that links back to their company or product: Sainsbury’s has evolved its commitment to reducing food waste to be the centrepiece for what it stands for with its Waste Less, Save More initiative.
  3. Brilliant storytelling: As a communicator, this is a given, but if your audience can’t see ‘What’s In It for Me?’ you are not telling the right story to them.
  4. The right social channels: Be as planned with your social strategy as you would traditional media; Twitter is the current go-to for sustainable communications as it allows easy alignment to corporate Twitter feeds, but with LinkedIn’s continued growth as a content hub coming a close second.
  5. A demonstrable impact to society and transparency about their own vested interest: Microsoft, for example, is doing extensive work to inspire and upskill the next generation with its YouthSpark digital literacy and coding program. This is good for society – helping youth employment, coding for kids, etc – but also for future proofing Microsoft, who want to cement a leadership position in cloud computing.

And, finally from a communications point of view, when you are doing good work you have a better story to tell, which is why these companies are getting the greatest share of voice.


Photo credit: Jason Howie