10 November 2016

In recent years there has been a substantial shift in stakeholder perception of CSR and sustainability. Those companies that have established a strategic approach in stakeholder management, engaged with their stakeholders in a transparent manner and embraced an authentic Sustainability vision are reaping the benefits to their reputation and bottom line.

According to the 2015 Sustainability Imperative Neilson Report, brands with a demonstrated commitment to sustainability grew more than 4% globally, while those without grew less than 1%. The report also found that 42% of global consumers are actively seeking new products that a socially responsible and environmentally friendly.

This global trend is also mirrored in the UAE. A 2015 YouGov study revealed that 72% of UAE consumers are more likely to purchase from a company that actively contributes to a cause. Focusing on CSR and sustainability also attracts the best talent. The study found that 75% of UAE employees are more likely to work for a company that actively contributes to a cause.

Sustainability Knowledge Group is at the cutting edge of these trends and our Managing Director, Aglaia Ntili, was invited to speak on marketing, communications and corporate responsibility at a joint event co-organised by the Canadian and Swiss Business Council in Dubai on the 24 October 2016.

Aglaia has almost 15 years of international experience across a wide range of sustainability fields and has been recognised with the Global CSR & Sustainability Leadership Award for her contributions as a practitioner, trainer, coach, and advisor.

Her presentation covered the key issues in formulating and applying sustainability principles in communications strategies based upon her extensive experience in the field.

Given the increase in public demand for CSR and sustainability, she stressed the paramount importance of acquiring social license to operate in order to increase market share and create revenues. She also covered the latest insights on stakeholder behavior such as the measurable impact of employee advocacy in business results and provided tips on how to avoid greenwashing.

Aglaia detailed the effects of committing to social and environmental actions and how to integrate them in corporate marketing and communications strategies. This included exactly what to communicate to stakeholders, how to communicate the findings of sustainability reports and the focus on authentic communication based on best sustainability business practice.