What makes a good sustainability website, and which companies are producing them?
In the March issue of Vanity Fair, Michael Wolf contends ”Web sites and Web pages are out of date. Media is no longer a product. …it is how we contribute to and how we benefit from our collective expressiveness.”
That’s a complicated way of saying that one-way online communications is dead. Long live an interactive platform where people can creatively share ideas. This kind of communications is also exactly what’s needed to bring corporate sustainability and transparency to the next level.
A European-wide ranking of the best CSR sites was just launched by communications consultancy H&H. Their ‘Top 500’ list ranks company sites on the scope of sustainability issues they communicate, as well as targets, policies and reporting practices. Their best performers have enough pages of data to fill an encyclopaedia.
H&H’s approach is a perfectly legitimate way of evaluating a company’s sustainability performance. But shouldn’t a CSR web ranking also laud the companies that are leveraging the unique way the Internet can engage stakeholders in their work?
That’s where H&H went off-track. The companies using the Internet to creatively encourage a conversation or raise awareness on issues crucial to them were few and far between on that list.
That’s why we at One Stone went surfing. We found some great examples of how companies are using the web to talk sustainability. Why do they stick out from the crowd?
- Their sustainability work is prominent at their site
- They’ve done their homework, preferably the GRI way.
- They demonstrate through practical examples the efforts they are making, rather than just presenting dull data.
- Their work with sustainability is given a voice—or many voices—through blogs, videos and podcasts.
- They are engaging readers in the issues by inviting stakeholders to continue the conversation, and giving them opportunities to creatively express their perspectives—all in the name of inclusiveness.
- Their innovative use of video, flash animation and social media.
In the next few weeks we’ll be presenting the good examples we’ve found from Australia, Europe and North America. Meanwhile, we look forward to seeing your picks of the companies we should add to our list. Here’s a taste of what is to come.