From marginalised to ‘mainstreamed’: reputation management in the era of ESG

We spoke to highly experienced professionals in the field of corporate communications and sustainability to understand how the fast-developing ESG agenda is affecting reputation management.

Reputation and sustainability are intrinsically linked. In depth conversations with several corporate affairs, sustainability, and communications leaders reveal how organisations are changing – or need to change – to successfully manage reputation in the era of ESG. These insights are explored, with recommendations, in our paper and highlighted by the co-authors in this short video.

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Reputation Management in the era of ESG

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We discovered that ESG has had a major catalysing effect on reputation management, bringing good practice in from the side-lines to the centre of business strategy and activity. As the paper outlines, it is also creating better issues management governance, changing the stakeholder conversation and evolving the communications function.

Both through soft interventions (the rapidly changing social dialogue) and hard interventions (regulations, ratings and investment), ESG puts the focus on organisations doing good business. They need to evolve and improve in these areas, not only because it helps long-term profits and to meet regulatory compliance, but because it is in the interest of stakeholders and society at large.

Our view is that the two are intrinsically linked. Get your approach to ESG right, and you are well on your way to protecting and enhancing your reputation. Get it wrong, and you can damage your brand and erode stakeholder trust in your organisation.

Encouragingly, we picked up a general positivity about ESG and its effect on organisations and beyond. Whilst it comes with risks, like greenwashing, which need to be identified and managed, it is generally viewed generally as a positive development. As with anything that helps organisations focus on their key asset – their reputation – this is to be wholeheartedly welcomed.

Bobbie Ramsden-Knowles, PwC Reputation and Resilience Leader, PwC UK

Andrew Griffin, The Griffin Consultancy

Contact us

Bobbie Ramsden-Knowles

Bobbie Ramsden-Knowles

Risk and Resilience Partner, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7483 422701

Pallavi Gulati

Pallavi Gulati

Director, ESG, Crisis & Resilience, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7483 379640

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