Good ESG Communications: What’s it going to take?

By Teamspirit on Monday, 26 September 2022

With the UK having experienced the hottest days on record, and central Europe, Australia and the US battling wildfires, the need to protect and create a more harmonious balance between planet and society has never been more omnipresent. At the same time, the economic downturn means tough decisions ahead, as businesses plot a viable path that serves all stakeholders.

As a financial services specialist agency, we’re often a barometer of the industry’s communication ambition and challenges, and ESG remains integral to most of the briefs that we’re working on.

Here’s how to make the leap from commitment sign-up to becoming a recognised ESG comms leader.

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While the industry’s awareness raising of ESG commitments has been good, we are challenging that ESG communications are not yet good enough. With the UK’s ambition to become the world’s first net zero financial centre and green finance leader, and the FCA now ready to regulate to stop greenwashing, there remains a huge disconnect between ambition and action. Latest consumer research reveals that 53% of consumers can’t name even one brand that does well on sustainability and equality, and 80% of consumers admit to not taking action on climate or equality. Clearly more needs to be done.

Which is why, a year on from our Net Zero Report, which assessed how advanced financial services firms are in their plans for net zero, we’ve looked at what good ESG communications need to be looking like for 2023. Broken into four sections, we start with an overview of the current situation, with almost neo-institutionalism around commitment pledging, before exploring the varying ESG appetite by audience. We then look at best-practice examples of ESG-related comms with real impact and accountability. Finally, we propose ten key truths that need to underpin good ESG comms in the year ahead.

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