• How do environmental objectives support corporate social responsibility?

    The pressure to respond to changing environmental conditions is affecting a range of organisations both within Australian and in the rest of the world. In many cases, the drive for businesses to reduce their impact on the environment is becoming more transparent thanks to the public's concern surrounding these issues.

    The Climate Institute recently investigated the way the Australian public is reacting to these concerns. According to its survey, more than two-thirds (69 per cent) believe that climate change is an issue that can't be easily ignored. 

    With the public throwing its support behind renewable energy initiatives, organisations are now focusing their corporate affairs communications on this area to ensure their efforts are well-publicised. 

    How are organisations advertising their renewable energy projects?

    McKinsey & Company addressed the value associated with promoting environmentally friendly initiatives in a business, revealing there are a number of ways companies can go about achieving this. 

    The organisation used the example of IKEA's recent commitment to renewable energy in its pursuit of reducing its global impact. According to McKinsey & Company, IKEA has installed more than 700,000 solar panels in its various buildings around the world. 

    On top of this, the Swedish company is committing to renewable energy of all types, also possessing more than 300 wind turbines. This large-scale awareness campaign highlighting its sustainability objectives sends a clear message to a general public that is becoming increasingly invested in green companies.

    Are companies prepared to manage these concerns?

    While the public are directing their attention towards environmental concerns, not all large corporations are following suit. According to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), only a small proportion of S&P Global 100 companies have adequately investigated how climate concerns and the ensuing public reaction could affect the way they operate. 

    The C2ES discovered that less than a third (28 per cent) of the related companies have investigated their potential vulnerability in the wake of these emerging issues. 

    The organisation advocated building awareness of these issues for a business and the manner in which they're expected to deal with them. While the C2ES specifically refers to internal communications, the actions of firms like IKEA suggest there is also value in raising public awareness as well. 

    As the public interest in environmentally friendly operating procedures and renewable energy increases, organisations will need to adapt their sustainability programs to ensure they are communicating their stance on the matter effectively.

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