When Sustainability met Social Media

New Report Confirms the Extended Use of Social Media; Highlights Best Practices for Communicating Sustainable Business

CHICAGO, IL and PARIS, Jan 24, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) — Wizness, the online network dedicated to sustainability professionals, today announced it has partnered with the Social Media Sustainability Index (SMI) to identify social media sustainability best practices and trends. The newly released report, “The SMI and Wizness Social Media Sustainability Index,” http://socialmediainfluence.com/SMI-report/ found that the number of companies embracing social media for their sustainability initiatives more than doubled in 2011 and predicts further increases in 2012. Today, more than 250 brands are using social media as a key tool to communicate sustainability initiatives and bring audiences together for the greater good.

The goal of “The SMI and Wizness Social Media Sustainability Index” is to provide a social media roadmap for communicators throughout the sustainability and CSR community. It ranks the ways in which 100 of the world’s largest companies communicate their CSR initiatives with social media, provides recommendations on managing reputation and highlights the top 10 companies on the list.

The Methodology Researchers scanned leading sustainable company lists including: Corporate Knights Global 100, Newsweek’s Green Rankings, The Dow Jones Sustainability Index and Interbrand’s Best Global Green Brands. The resulting list was then reduced significantly to include only companies that publish a blog, Facebook page or subpage, Twitter account or YouTube channel dedicated to sustainability/CSR. The top 100 companies have social media channels that demonstrate a real commitment to sustainability communications in terms of resource and community building.

Key Findings When compiling the metrics for the report, researchers made the following observations of the 100 companies that made the Index:

  • Consumer Goods is the strongest reporting sector on the Index
  • Oil & Gas is the weakest reporting sector on the Index
  • 53 have dedicated sustainability blogs, 67 have Facebook pages and 70 have twitter feeds
  • 36 have Sustainability/CR reports that they share through social media
  • 40 North American companies are on the Index
  • 54 European companies are on the Index

The Leaders The stand out leaders in this year’s Social Media Sustainability Index all fully embrace their new-found power to publish and provide useful, regular, transparent and creative sustainability content for their social media communities. They are:

  1. GE
  2. IBM
  3. Ford
  4. Pepsico
  5. BBVA
  6. Allianz
  7. VF Corporation
  8. Levis
  9. Siemens
  10. FedEX & Kimberly Clark

The report concludes that good social media communication shouldn’t be judged by the number of fans on Facebook or followers on Twitter. Ultimately, successful community building and social media engagement is about attracting the right audience, not necessarily the biggest audience.

The report is available for download from SMI website at http://socialmediainfluence.com/SMI-report/

About Wizness Wizness is an online network dedicated to Sustainability Professionals. Wizness features intuitive services that help professionals promote their expertise and share best practices and allows companies to engage in meaningful conversations with their stakeholders in private and public communities. Wizness enables industries to gather together to solve the most pressing compliance issues and shape the sustainability agenda. Wizness is powered by Enablon, the world’s leading software provider of Sustainability Management solutions. For more information about Wizness: www.wizness.com

About SMI SMI provides intelligence and analysis for business professionals looking to understand and navigate the ever-evolving world of online communication.

SMI runs one of the longest-established social media conferences, publishes industry reports and best practice white papers for social media practitioners as well as providing social media training and consultancy. For more information about SMI: socialmediainfluence.com


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  • http://twitter.com/2degreesOliver Oliver Hurrey

    Fascinating stuff. We at 2degrees (the World’s Leading Community for Sustainable Business – http://www.2degreesnetwork.com) agree that successful community building and social media engagement is PARTLY about “attracting the right audience, not necessarily the biggest audience”. However, you must also generate a level of valuable interaction and collaboration in this audience, otherwise it is just plain publishing still. How to generate that level of collaboration in a business audience is a fine art and science that only very few have cracked.

    Tesco won a Gigaton award for their work on supply chain carbon management, which 2degrees was a key part of and our expert facilitators + our web2.0 technology + solution independence was all crucial.

    We are a glaringly obvious omission, so it is a shame we were somehow missed out of this report – but we’d love to be involved in future developments of it.

    • Anonymous

      Oliver – I saw the tweet response about the omission from the report – it may seem strange to understand, but the sustainability communities in the US and the UK have some strange disconnects – it is like they are on different frequencies at times.

      I worked as a sustainability consultant for 4 years in the UK – I have been in the States for the past two. When I was in the UK, I wasn’t aware of 90% of the green activity going on here – actually I was under the false impression that little was going on here when in fact the complete opposite was true. Likewise, since I have been here, I rarely hear about any activity in the UK. I hope this odd disconnect goes away soon – there is a lot of great things going on that everyone needs to know about.

      Please let me know if you would like a post about 2degrees – or let us know which PR you would like us to run. We would love to let our reader know more about your great community. Cheers Tony

  • Anonymous

    Well, it’s certainly greener than sending out printed reports…