[eBook] The Future of Communications: ESG and Sustainability

Published on 22nd February 2024

With pivotal elections across the globe, continuing conflict in many regions of the world and significant economic challenges, organisations are certain to need expert communications in 2024. So, we asked Worldcom Public Relations Group’s Global Partners to share their predictions and advice for the top trends and challenges that will shape communications and the PR environment in 2024.

Download the full eBook>> The Future of Communications: 2024 PR and Communications Trends

We’ve captured their thoughts in a seven-post series that covers everything from AI to sustainability. We’ve also included posts on two very important regions, Latin America and Malaysia and Indonesia.

We hope you find the advice helpful as you navigate your way through the challenges and opportunities that 2024 will bring.

 

Part 2 – ESG and Sustainability

According to the Worldcom Confidence Index (WCI) ESG and sustainability is the fifth most talked about topic by the global C Suite. So, in this second post in our series of predictions and advice for 2024, our global experts look at the importance of sustainability issues.

ESG obligations will impact business strategies 

By Stephanie Paul, Chief Executive Officer, Phillips Group, Brisbane, Australia

In 2024, Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) practice will involve a rapid rollout of mandatory climate disclosures, causing a significant redesign of business strategies across all industries. There will be an increase in the scrutiny of ESG practices from stakeholders. Companies will be expected to maintain transparent governance structures, foster social responsibility, and adopt environmentally sustainable practices.

Sustainability reporting will become mandatory and compliance to avoid risks such as greenwashing will become increasingly important to ensure ESG messaging is adhering to jurisdictional requirements. Since ‘scope 3’ emissions account for more than 90 per cent of a company’s total greenhouse gas footprint, improving supply chains will have to be addressed.

As well as being more transparent about their supply chain, companies will be required to establish ESG-focused procurement policies, and work with suppliers to improve aspects such as data collection and their environmental and social impact. Clear ESG goals will need to be supported with verifiable measurement and reporting, and integration within strategic decision making. In doing so, companies will attract socially conscious consumers and investors.

 

Sustainability represents an opportunity to build audience trust

By Jasmin Sobhanian, Marketing Advisor, HBI Communication, Munich, Germany

Sustainability will be an even more important factor for corporate reputation in 2024. Companies that demonstrate their commitment to sustainability will be perceived as more credible and attractive by their customers and employees.

As a result, we expect companies to emphasize their sustainability efforts more strongly in their internal and external communication. This will be done through the use of sustainability reports, social media campaigns and other PR tools.

This focus on sustainability communication will create new career opportunities in the PR industry.

 

Sustainability communications must be built on actions not promises

By Lim Hock Jin, Principal Consultant, Cognito Communications, Jakarta, Indonesia

In 2024 companies across industrial sectors will evaluate how best to respond to the decisions and commitments at COP28. There will be those who may be tempted to communicate quickly in the name of moving the sustainability agenda forward.

However, they should remember that jumping in with just intent statements may lead to increased stakeholder cynicism. A smarter, and more trusted approach will ensure that sustainability communications are action-oriented and demonstrate tangible progress.

 

Sustainable practices are essential for long-term success

By Emily Porro, Senior Vice President and IMPACT Practice Lead, RH Strategic Communications, Seattle, USA

Business leaders will find themselves compelled to integrate sustainability into their core strategies and consider how best to communicate their commitments in an authentic, transparent way. Core to smart communications programs will be an emphasis that sustainable practices are not merely desirable for a more sustainable future, but imperative for long-term business success.

 

2024 will see a surge in demand for transparency

By Rich Lukis, President, Coyne Public Relations, New Jersey, USA

Sustainability and CSR are no longer just buzzwords but have become central to how companies are perceived by the public. In 2024, we predict a surge in consumer and investor demand for transparency and genuine commitment to environmental and social issues. This shift will compel PR clients to integrate sustainability into their core business strategies, rather than treating it as a peripheral issue.

The focus will be on authentic storytelling, showcasing real, measurable impacts rather than relying on superficial greenwashing tactics. PR professionals will need to craft narratives that transparently communicate the company’s efforts in sustainability, its challenges, and achievements. This will require a deeper understanding of environmental and social issues, and the ability to communicate these complexities in a relatable way.  Those who can effectively integrate these values into their brand story will build stronger, more trusting relationships with their audiences.

 

Download the full eBook:

The Future of Communications: 2024 PR and Communications Trends

 

Can we help?

If you would like help from any of the experts in this e-book please contact them direct via the weblinks provided on individual pages. For any of our other experts please contact Todd Lynch.

And, if you’d like to keep your communications strategy ahead of the curve, see what over 100,000 C Suite executives around the world are thinking by visiting our Worldcom Confidence Index global tracker which is updated monthly.

 

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