Sustainability Communications:Balancing Risk and RewardBaldwin-Wallace Institute for Sustainable Business PracticeMay 26, ...
Dix & Eaton Snapshot  Founded in 1952; Cleveland-based integrated communications firm  Two-thirds of professionals over 10...
Stakeholders      U.S. companies’ top 3 most influential stakeholders           Customers – 47%           Employees – 34% ...
Stakeholders  Consumers and customers      84% of consumers say important to buy from eco-friendly firms  Employees and pa...
StakeholdersSource: Grocery Manufacturers Association & Deloitte                                   © Dix & Eaton Incorpora...
Thought Leadership vs. Proactive vs. Reactive  Thought leadership     Create new, innovative tools     Reach all audiences...
Cost vs. Cost Savings/Revenue Opportunity  Cost     Cost of doing business     “The right thing to do” even if it costs mo...
Cost vs. Cost Savings/Revenue Opportunity  Cost savings/revenue opportunity (competitive advantage)     Reduce energy use ...
Reality vs. ReputationSource: Globe-Net report on MapChange 2010, Maddock Douglas                                 © Dix & ...
Data-Driven vs. Stories-Driven  Data-driven: GRI, CDP     Intel: “Intel saw most of its metrics worsen in 2010 compared to...
Dedicated Resources vs. ‘Everyone’s Job’  Dedicated resources – builds expertise, “doers” and “idea  generators”     “Gree...
Greenwashing vs. ‘Greenblushing’  Greenwashing: Perception of  consumers that they are being  misled by a company  regardi...
Greenwashing vs. ‘Greenblushing’     Seven sins of greenwashing            The hidden trade-off. Suggesting a product is “...
Greenwashing vs. ‘Greenblushing’  Greenblushing: Limited or no information disseminated by an  organization so as to under...
Greenwashing vs. ‘Greenblushing’  Symptoms of greenblushing     Believing you need “all the answers” before you can commun...
Recommended Resources Web sites/blogs                            Organizations    Environmental Leader                    ...
Contact Information  Gregg LaBar     Senior Vice President     Dix & Eaton     glabar@dix-eaton.com     216-241-4614      ...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Dix & eaton sustainability communications 5 26-11 b-w presentation

1,196 views

Published on

A presentation by Gregg Labar, Dix & Eaton, about sustainability communications, which was given at a meeting of the Institute for Sustainable Business Practice at Baldwin-Wallace College

Published in: Business, Technology
0 Comments
1 Like
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total views
1,196
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
3
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
15
Comments
0
Likes
1
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Dix & eaton sustainability communications 5 26-11 b-w presentation

  1. 1. Sustainability Communications:Balancing Risk and RewardBaldwin-Wallace Institute for Sustainable Business PracticeMay 26, 2011By Gregg LaBar 1 © Dix & Eaton Incorporated 2011
  2. 2. Dix & Eaton Snapshot Founded in 1952; Cleveland-based integrated communications firm Two-thirds of professionals over 10 years of experience Practice areas: Investor relations, media relations, customer communications, crisis communications, employee engagement Relevant specialties Energy Practice Sustainability Communications © Dix & Eaton Incorporated 2011 2
  3. 3. Stakeholders U.S. companies’ top 3 most influential stakeholders Customers – 47% Employees – 34% Management team and board – 34% Regulators – 29% Competitors – 20% Business or supply chain partners – 17% Investors – 16% (but probably the fastest-growing)Source: KPMG International, “Corporate Sustainability: A Progress Report” © Dix & Eaton Incorporated 2011 3
  4. 4. Stakeholders Consumers and customers 84% of consumers say important to buy from eco-friendly firms Employees and partners The “internal champions”; “brand ambassadors” Investors $7 trillion global market for sustainable and responsible investing 2007 BusinessWeek study: Walmart’s value would increase by 8.4 percent, or $16 billion, if it had Target’s CSR reputation Influencers and NGOs Opportunities to partner with old adversaries→ Two-way communication = audience participation © Dix & Eaton Incorporated 2011 4
  5. 5. StakeholdersSource: Grocery Manufacturers Association & Deloitte © Dix & Eaton Incorporated 2011 5
  6. 6. Thought Leadership vs. Proactive vs. Reactive Thought leadership Create new, innovative tools Reach all audiences (and media) Dare to stand out Proactive Research (“listening” as a form of communication) Utilizes existing tools (direct communications, website) Focus on primary, “safe” audiences Reactive Wait until you “need” it © Dix & Eaton Incorporated 2011 6
  7. 7. Cost vs. Cost Savings/Revenue Opportunity Cost Cost of doing business “The right thing to do” even if it costs money Green goods have cost, on average, 20-40% more than their conventional counterparts; gap is narrowing to 5-10% Aneel Karnani’s argument (University of Michigan): • “Executives are hired to maximize profits; that is their responsibility to shareholders” • The idea that companies have a responsibility to act in the public interest and will profit from doing so is fundamentally flawed.” • “The only sure way to influence corporate decision making is to impose an unacceptable cost – regulatory mandates, taxes, punitive fines, public embarrassment – on socially unacceptable behavior” © Dix & Eaton Incorporated 2011 7
  8. 8. Cost vs. Cost Savings/Revenue Opportunity Cost savings/revenue opportunity (competitive advantage) Reduce energy use and costs Reduce waste (or sell it) Sales of greener/sustainable products into “clean” markets (e.g. wind power) Examples Intel: $135 million of cost savings from employee environmental projects in 2010 Intercontinental Hotels: Invested $400,000 to change light bulbs; saved $1.2 million in 4 months A.T. Kearney study: Companies that are meaningfully committed to sustainability outperformed their competitors by 15% (during the recession), adding an average of $650 million to their market capitalization © Dix & Eaton Incorporated 2011 8
  9. 9. Reality vs. ReputationSource: Globe-Net report on MapChange 2010, Maddock Douglas © Dix & Eaton Incorporated 2011 9
  10. 10. Data-Driven vs. Stories-Driven Data-driven: GRI, CDP Intel: “Intel saw most of its metrics worsen in 2010 compared to 2009, with chemical waste output up 27 percent. It blames the rise on increasing complexity in its manufacturing processes.” (and higher production volumes) The destination, the accomplishments Stories-driven “Stories that are so powerful that no one asks for the statistics” (or the numbers don’t matter) – Jack Ricchiuto (local author and facilitator) The journey © Dix & Eaton Incorporated 2011 10
  11. 11. Dedicated Resources vs. ‘Everyone’s Job’ Dedicated resources – builds expertise, “doers” and “idea generators” “Green teams” CSOs, CROs “Everyone’s job” – builds buy-in Seamless Similar to current quality mindset © Dix & Eaton Incorporated 2011 11
  12. 12. Greenwashing vs. ‘Greenblushing’ Greenwashing: Perception of consumers that they are being misled by a company regarding its environmental practices or the environmental benefits of a product or service “One step we’ve CorpWatch says “disinformation taken is to make disseminated by an organization some of our SunChips® so as to present an snacks with the environmentally responsible public help of solar image” energy at one of our plants in California.” © Dix & Eaton Incorporated 2011 12
  13. 13. Greenwashing vs. ‘Greenblushing’ Seven sins of greenwashing The hidden trade-off. Suggesting a product is “green” based on an unreasonably narrow set of attributes without attention to other important issues. No proof. Committed by an environmental claim that cannot be substantiated by supporting information or reliable third-party certification. Vagueness. Committed by every claim that is so poorly defined or broad that its real meaning is likely to be misunderstood by the consumer. e.g. “all-natural.” Irrelevance. Committed by making an environmental claim that may be truthful but is unimportant or unhelpful, e.g. “CFC-free” because it is banned by law. Lesser of two evils. Committed by claims that may be true within the product category, but that risk distracting the consumer from the greater environmental impacts of the category as a whole, e.g. organic cigarettes. Fibbing. Making environmental claims that are simply false, e.g. lying about Energy Star certification. False labels. Committed when either words or images give the impression of third-party endorsement where no such endorsement actually exists.Source: TerraChoice and PRSA Professional Standards Advisory PS-12 (October 2009) © Dix & Eaton Incorporated 2011 13
  14. 14. Greenwashing vs. ‘Greenblushing’ Greenblushing: Limited or no information disseminated by an organization so as to understate or ignore its commitment to and actions on environmental responsibility. Walking the walk but being too unsure and shy to talk the talk Newsweek’s Top 100 companies with low reputation scores Wells Fargo Northern Trust Adv.Micro Devices Hospira Staples eBay McDonald’s Molson Coors Estée Lauder Nalco Baxter Tiffany CB Richard Ellis © Dix & Eaton Incorporated 2011 14
  15. 15. Greenwashing vs. ‘Greenblushing’ Symptoms of greenblushing Believing you need “all the answers” before you can communicate Being reluctant to talk about your sustainability activities, even when asked to or recognized by outside parties Downplaying your achievements internally, which can be very de- motivating Afraid to bring it up with customers in case they’re ahead of you or not particularly interested Always assuming there’s more risk than reward in communicating Feeling that what you’re doing is “not that special,” when, in fact, others could learn a lot from your ideas © Dix & Eaton Incorporated 2011 15
  16. 16. Recommended Resources Web sites/blogs Organizations Environmental Leader GreenCityBlueLake Institute Green Biz Entrepreneurs 4 Sustainability Corporate Responsibility Corporate Sustainability Network Magazine Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Best Green Blogs Global Reporting Initiative Sustainablog Global Environmental CSRwire Management Initiative Taiga Company Books Treehugger.com Green to Gold Green Wombat (Fortune.com) Daniel Esty and Andrew Winston GreenInc. (New York Times) Making Sustainability Work The Shelton Group Marc J. Epstein @ThreePs Twitter followers The Triple Bottom Line Andrew W. Savitz No Impact Man Colin Beavan © Dix & Eaton Incorporated 2011 16
  17. 17. Contact Information Gregg LaBar Senior Vice President Dix & Eaton glabar@dix-eaton.com 216-241-4614 © Dix & Eaton Incorporated 2011 17

×