The CSR Spotlight report – how companies can respond to a rapidly changing world
2016 was a year of turbulence and transformation. Brexit as well as the election of Trump where political events that few saw coming. The conflict in Syria, terrorism and potential climate change disasters all contributed to instability. We continued to move towards a more digital society, resulting in both new opportunities and new risks.
Climate change as well as the prospects of green innovations continued to be on the agenda. These events naturally have implications for companies too and in the light of this, this year’s CSR Spotlight report provides insights and data that can help companies navigate and communicate in a rapidly changing world. The report has been done in collaboration with our colleagues at Hallvarsson and Halvarsson.
The most demanded information from Stakeholders in 2016 (Capital Market Survey):
Tax payments per country in numbers
Latest CSR report on website
Code of conduct /ethics policy
Explaining how the company works with anticorruption
This article summarizes some of the findings of the report. To access the full report, click here.
In the wake of the Paris agreement – environment targets matter to Stakeholders
The Paris agreement laid out the ground for what needed to be done in order to stay within a two degree global warming increase. Action must now be done and this provides a huge opportunity for companies to demonstrate their climate commitments. Webranking by Comprend show that 64 % of stakeholders find environment targets and achievements important but that companies still can do more to communicate their commitments. It is beneficial for companies to work with solution-oriented messaging and to communicate a long-term vision when working with complex issues like the environment.
Company Example: Kellogg’s focuses on long-term commitment
The cereal giant Kellogg’s is a part of the Science based targets initiative, which helps businesses pursue bolder solutions to climate change. This in turn, helps create a long-term vision and story that Kellogg’s is a company with a strong purpose. The targets also works as a proof for stakeholders that Kellogg’s are committed to sustainability.
Firm foundations and strong integrity important in unpredictable times
2016 brought with it everything from a changing political climate to large corruption scandals like the Panama one. In unpredictable times like these, lack of trust is a key theme. Companies must therefore assure strong foundations and strong integrity. Webranking by Comprend show that the demand for communication of governance and compliance is high among stakeholders. However, companies can be better at living up to this demand with only 23 % of the ranked companies presenting actions against corruption.
Hans De Geer, Senior Advisor at Hallvarsson and Halvarsson, predicts that the combination of the quest for transparency and digital media will be important for corporate integrity in the future. According to De Geer, integrity also means combatting corruption and preventing false information. Companies should also remember to keep business and (party) politics apart. De Geer highlights that doing business with even the ones you don’t like, is the only way that provides you with the possibility to share your values with society as a whole.
New technology – New opportunities
Technology is advancing at a fast speed and many are talking about a new digital revolution with technology that will change our society and the way we live completely. While some aspects raise questions and calls for discussion (How do we ensure integrity with all the new data available? What will we work with in the future?) it is true that the digital era is here and along with it comes tremendous opportunities for companies. The new technological advancements will have the possibility to create better custom relations, decrease costs and increase productivity.
The telecom giant Telefonica is an example of a company benefiting from the new technology. They have teamed up with UNICEF for their latest innovation AURA, which allows the industry to interact with customers based on cognitive intelligence. Through UNICEFS Big data for Social Good platform Magic Box initiative, the innovation has been used in the response to both the Ebola epidemics and the Zika virus.
The Spotlight report also discusses important aspects of a rapidly changing world such as the increased mobilization for human rights and the work with the Sustainable Development Goals, the SDGs. We invite you to read our full report to learn more about how companies can react to these stakeholder demands.