An analysis of stakeholder conversations on Twitter about the environment and sustainability.

Download Full Report (PDF): The Perceptions of Sustainability

Cision and the Institute for Public Relations (IPR) examined the conversation around environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) topics. This second report focuses on the ‘E’ in ESG — environment and sustainability.

Executive Summary

Organizations are increasingly turning their focus to fighting climate change through sustainable practices. A 2022 report by Deloitte found that 89% of executives agree there is a global climate emergency. Sustainable organizations are also being rewarded financially for their efforts. A Korn Ferry study found that purpose-driven companies post compound annual growth rates of 9.9% compared to an average of 2.4% for S&P 500 companies overall. However, companies are still accused often of greenwashing, or the act of making false or misleading claims about the environmental benefits of a product, service, technology, etc. (Corporate Finance Institute, 2022).

Using Brandwatch’s Consumer Research tool, Cision and IPR analyzed over 170K Twitter posts discussing the intersection of business and sustainability to determine attitudes of consumers, employees, and other key stakeholders toward sustainability and how well companies are doing to fight climate change.

The key terms analyzed in this research report include:

  • Carbon Footprint/Offset
  • Corporate Sustainability Practices
  • Corporate Regulation
  • Greenwashing (disinformation disseminated by an organization to present an environmentally responsible public image)
  • Supply Chain


This study identifies three different camps of social media users (concerned, unconvinced, and dismissive) and presents recommendations for communicators.

Methodology

Cision began by identifying terms relevant to the topic of business and sustainability and developed a robust search that we used to collect an overall body of relevant Twitter content. In order to explore specific aspects of the broader topic, we used keyword-based tags to focus on social conversation around themes such as greenwashing, supply chain management, regulation, values and specific industries. We conducted further quantitative and qualitative analysis to surface posts with high engagement and compelling messages to paint a picture of the evolving landscape around business and sustainability, including best practices and potential pitfalls.

For the findings, please download the full report.

About the Institute for Public Relations
Founded in 1956, the Institute for Public Relations is an independent, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the science beneath the art of public relations.™ IPR creates, curates, and promotes research and initiatives that empower professionals with actionable insights and intelligence they can put to immediate use.  IPR predicts and analyzes global factors transforming the profession, and amplifies and engages the profession globally through thought leadership and programming. All research is available free at www.instituteforpr.org and provides the basis for IPR’s professional conferences and events.

About CISION
As a global leader in PR, marketing and social media management technology and intelligence, Cision helps brands and organizations to identify, connect and engage with customers and stakeholders to drive business results. PR Newswire helps companies meet their communications and disclosure needs. A network of approximately 1.1 billion influencers, in-depth monitoring, analytics and its Brandwatch and Falcon.io social media platforms headline a premier suite of solutions. Cision has offices in 24 countries throughout the Americas, EMEA and APAC. For more information about Cision’s award-winning solutions, including its next-gen Cision Communications Cloud®, visit www.cision. com and follow @Cision on Twitter.

Media Contact
Brittany Higginbotham
Communications Associate
Institute for Public Relations
brittany@instituteforpr.org

Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
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