Our website publishes news, press releases, opinion and advertorials on various financial organizations, products and services which are commissioned from various Companies, Organizations, PR agencies, Bloggers etc. These commissioned articles are commercial in nature. This is not to be considered as financial advice and should be considered only for information purposes. It does not reflect the views or opinion of our website and is not to be considered an endorsement or a recommendation. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of any information provided with respect to your individual or personal circumstances. Please seek Professional advice from a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. We link to various third-party websites, affiliate sales networks, and to our advertising partners websites. When you view or click on certain links available on our articles, our partners may compensate us for displaying the content to you or make a purchase or fill a form. This will not incur any additional charges to you. To make things simpler for you to identity or distinguish advertised or sponsored articles or links, you may consider all articles or links hosted on our site as a commercial article placement. We will not be responsible for any loss you may suffer as a result of any omission or inaccuracy on the website.

Companies drop responsibility in favour of promoting how sustainable they are

by maria

Companies are leaning towards promoting sustainability rather than responsibility, according to new research by the Vienna University of Economics and Business.

The study, conducted by Dr. Pilar Pérez Cañizares, looked into how leading companies in Spain and Latin America communicate Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability on their web pages.

Dr. Pérez Cañizares found a trend towards both ‘sustainability’ and ‘CSR’ gaining prominence on companies’ websites, and ‘responsibility’ terms being gradually replaced over time.

In fact, the research revealed that ‘responsibility’ terms are now practically non-existent in Latin American sites as many companies jumped on the “sustainability bandwagon” initiated by a small number of companies.

The researcher analysed the websites of 68 companies and discovered that the importance of CSR communications is growing rapidly, with the vast majority now presenting their CSR and sustainability content on the first page of their websites.

Dr. Pérez Cañizares explains that this could be for two reasons, the first is as a result of a trend towards greater uniformity in reporting, which is designed to allow comparability of both communication and performance; the second is that it’s a mere imitation of competitors.

“The changes in terminology have reflected changes in underlying ideas or strategy for some companies. One example is Inditex, Spain’s most valuable company, who have made changes in heading terminology as well as a redesign of the homepage. This kind of change hints at the adoption of a new communication strategy in the way Inditex presents itself and its activities to its stakeholders,” says Dr. Pérez Cañizares.

However, the researcher does add that a third of companies in the service sector, such as banks, still use the term ‘responsibility’ because they have relatively little impact on the environment.

The research paper was published in the Journal Business and Professional Communication Quarterly.