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Sustainability and its impact on corporate branding

Sustainability has become a central item on the leadership agenda of major corporations like never before. A diverse set of stakeholders, each with differing motivations, are measuring and monitoring corporate performance on environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors. Newly minted university students want to work for companies that have a social conscience. Customers – namely purchasing managers and some end-consumer segments – will do business only with firms that meet threshold standards for product safety, labor practices, and the like. And perhaps most important, institutional investors are examining ESG performance factors as a way to locate hidden value and identify sources of potential risk.

Corporate executives now realize that incorporating sustainability/ESG factors into their brand and communications practices is a requirement for successfully winning over these key audiences. Ignoring or being less than transparent about these stakeholders’ concerns may create substantial risk to the firm’s reputation.

  1. Featured thought leadership

    Sustainability leadership report site

    2012 Sustainability Leadership Report

    Now in its second year, the 2012 report contains the latest findings on real vs. perceived sustainability performance for 100 leading global brands. The Sustainability IQ Matrix, which identifies Laggards, Challengers, Promoters and Leaders, includes the individual scores and year-over-year changes for each of the 100 brands.

  2. Sustainability leadership report cover

    2011 Sustainability Leadership Report

    This inaugural study covering 100 global corporations matches actual sustainability performance with perceptions. Find out more in this landmark report.

  3. Brandlogic5 Best Practices

    Keys to Sustainability Leadership, Five best practices

    Sustainability is the next frontier for corporate leadership. In this article by James Cerruti, Senior Partner of Strategy and Research at Brandlogic, learn how leading companies are charting a path to sustainability leadership.

    By comparing these companies, we were able to identify a number of true Leaders, which scored highly in both actual and perceived sustainability performance.

    Five practices were largely shared by our Leaders, indicating key areas of focus in the race for sustainability leadership. This report contains those practices.

  4. Director Notes: Charting a Path to Sustainability Leadership

    Director Notes: Charting a Path to Sustainability Leadership

    In the first of a three-article series, Brandlogic's James Cerruti outlines how corporations can chart a path to sustainability leadership. This piece originally appeared in Director Notes, a management publication of The Conference Board, which is sent to over 42,000 executives around the world.

  5. Sustainability: How Stakeholder Perceptions Differ From Corporate Reality

    Sustainability: How Stakeholder Perceptions Differ From Corporate Reality

    James Cerruti of Brandlogic and Michael Muyot of CRD Analytics wrote this article for the prestigious California Management Review, published by the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. It analyzes the relationship between real and perceived sustainability performance, outlining the value to companies of using their primary channels of persuasion to communicate their sustainability commitments.

  6. The Landscape of Integrated Reporting: Reflections and Next Steps

    The Landscape of Integrated Reporting

    Business leaders, including Brandlogic's Hampton Bridwell and Denis Riney, share perspectives on integrated reporting in this Harvard Business School e-book.

  7. Convincing the reluctant CEO to adopt Integrated Reporting

    Integrated reporting offers real business benefits, yet some companies still aren’t pursuing it. Find out why.

  8. Sustainability and Corporate Reputation: the Keys to Leadership

    James Cerruti discusses the second annual Sustainability Leadership Report, a landmark study of real vs. perceived sustainability performance for 100 leading global companies.

  9. From Transparency to Performance: A new Method for Industry Based Sustainability Reporting on Key Issues

    From Transparency to Performance

    Harvard University and co-author Jean Rogers puts forth a model system for developing key performance indicators (KPIs) appropriate for mandatory sustainability reporting and materiality.

  10. Video from HBS Workshop on Integrated Reporting

    Align the interests and objectives of shareholder, investor, regulator, standard setters, technology providers and NGOs with co-creation communities, a new framework for stakeholder engagement.

  1. What you should do

  2. Measurement and benchmarking

    Our proprietary research methodologies will reveal new insights about where you stand in the minds of key stakeholder groups. When coupled with our best practices research, we can help you chart a path to sustainability leadership.

    • Customized Sustainability IQ Matrix development:
      • Stakehoider perception research
      • Performance benchmarking
      • Gap analysis
    • Materiality analysis
  3. Strategy, design and innovation

    Our integrated team of strategists, designers, writers and digital specialists offer the right blend of analysis, creativity and innovation. Working with your sustainability and communications teams, we can create bold, new ideas that will set your brand apart from its peers.

    Brand positioning
    • Brand architecture
    • Innovation workshops
    • Identity and brand design
  4. Engagement and alignment

    Whether it's designing an external stakeholder engagement process or communicating the benefits of sustainability to a large, diverse employee population, we can help. In either situation, we can design and execute engagement processes that will deliver measurable results.

    Leadership workshops
    • Employee engagement
    • Stakeholder engagement
  5. Communications and reporting

    We have a long track record of creating high-impact corporate reports in print, web and mobile formats for some of the world's largest corporations. Our highly skilled editorial, design and digital team members can create communications materials that tell your sustainability story in a compelling, emotionally engaging way.

    Reporting strategy, writing and design
    • Digital and experience design
    • Marketing communications
    • Thought leadership communications
Global Reporting Initiative - Organizational Stakeholder