Is Sustainability Just a PR Stunt? - Deepstash

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Sustainability: CSR and ESG

Sustainability and DEI are two popular issues in the corporate world, where companies come under scrutiny if they are not making an effort to be more inclusive and responsible.

This is because of the added focus on a company's

  • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) - A type of business model companies voluntarily implement to help society and the environment.
  • Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) - A set of standards investors use to evaluate how socially conscious a company is.

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Benefits of sustainability in business

Sustainability in business refers to implementing the CSR model to improve your ESG.

For example:

  • Improving energy efficiency by using renewable energy sources and reducing usage
  • Ensuring your business is climate-positive by offsetting carbon and planting trees
  • Encouraging sustainable behaviour amongst all staff
  • Using green-certified office products.

Benefits to the company:

  • Employees prefer to work for "greener" companies.
  • It's good for your brand reputation.
  • You become more attractive to investors.

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Is sustainability just a marketing trend?

Is sustainability just a marketing trend?

With so many benefits, it's profitable for companies to appear sustainable. Companies spend much time to seem as if they're doing a lot for the environment rather than making a real difference.

They are aware of the PR benefits of appearing like they're a sustainable business, but the company doesn't practice it. This is named greenwashing.

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How to tell if a company is greenwashing

A company that is greenwashing use vague language and consistently releases press articles about the great work they're doing, but there is no evidence to back up these claims. For example, BP spent millions on an ad campaign about renewable energy, but everything else they did was bad.

Companies use jargon and scientific talk to confuse the audience to make it seem like they're doing complicated work.

If you're truly interested in a company and its actual ESG status, research their owners and use your own research to validate their claims.

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