So you say I need an ESG report, website, dataset AND a summary?!?

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– Shareholders have different objectives and policies and typically want different types of ESG information.
– Some shareholders may want a comprehensive overview, some just want data, and some may want a short summary.

Here’s a write-up from our advisory board member, Ginny Fogg: Sure, it would be nice if everyone could just read the sustainability report you post and have all the information they need.  But that’s usually not the most effective way to tailor your ESG communication strategy to what your shareholders want to see.  Many companies have a sustainability report, website, data set AND a summary.

Shareholders have different objectives and policies, and they typically want different types of information about your sustainability program than other shareholders may want.  See my earlier blog “When it comes to sustainability reports, one size might not fit all” on build-your-own report features.

Shareholders also consume your information in many different ways, which is why a good program webpage is a must.  A webpage that clearly lays out the components of your program gives a great overview and directs readers to topical pages for more information.  General Motors’s webpage offers some great ideas.

Some shareholders are all about the data – just the facts.  Datasets can be really useful for your shareholders that track and analyze your data themselves.  Plus, datasets are easy to update.  Check out Walgreen’s performance data.

And with all of those options, some shareholders only want a quick, high-level view of what sustainability means to your company.  Think of it as a brochure that’s glossy, a couple of pages is all you need.  McDonalds’ progress highlights is short and snappy, and may even leave you feeling a bit hungry.

But don’t just take it from me.  Ask your shareholders during engagement which resources they use and what they like.  Their responses can give you valuable feedback to tailor your reporting to their needs.