ESG-proof your IR page to boost investor engagement
Updated: Sep 4, 2019
By 2019 ESG ownership continues to grow as more and more investors integrate ESG criteria in their portfolio selection process. One of their prime decision criteria is the degree and quality of ESG information disclosed by companies. Meanwhile, ESG analysts are busier than ever and want to be able to easily find key sustainability drivers relevant to the company they are researching, KPI information and how to get in touch with the right person to address their questions. Despite the hard work of companies to publish their granular annual sustainability reports, ESG analysts we talk to often confess that they lack the time to go through a +200-page sustainability report. As corporate websites are one point of reference for analysts, a well-structured IR website disclosing relevant ESG information can make a huge difference.
The rule of thumb
The effectiveness of any website is defined by its user-friendliness, which requires presenting relevant information to the target audience in a visually appealing manner that is easy to navigate. Being investor-focused starts here: The main objective is to minimise the time analysts spend online to find the key ESG content they are looking for. This can be done by shortening navigational paths, by terming content appropriately as well as consistently throughout the page to allow for an intuitive navigation.
ESG analysts love seeing a designated section within the IR page that provides qualitative, material and up to date ESG information. The key is to curate content with the ESG analyst perspective in mind, ranging from company-relevant information on each area of Environmental, Social and Governance, to how ESG is being integrated into the corporate strategy. Other areas we advise companies to disclose on are ESG indices they are part of, collaborations, goals, KPIs and making the latest ESG equity story presentation available to download. Individual sub-sections within the page help structure the information and can either link to further content on the IR page itself or to additional sustainability related content.
Top Tip: Place the contact details of the person in charge of ESG communication with investors clearly to allow the ESG analyst to reach out easily.
Go the extra mile
Another way of adding credibility to your sustainability message to investors is by engaging with the latest talking points within the ESG landscape, either discussions happening within the company or industry-wide. One example is adding an ESG Q&A section alongside relevant quotes from management or members of the board. This provides further evidence of the real commitment to sustainability. US tech-giant Microsoft is a great example of going the extra mile by including board member views in current ESG discussions.
Aim high, learn from the best
Other successful IR webpages can be found across various industries. BASF, the German chemical company, presents its ESG content across 7 sub-categories and is one trailblazer example of providing material ESG information in a structured, intuitive and easy to navigate manner.
Also in Germany, another company which can be considered best practice in ESG communication to analysts is Deutsche Telekom. It uses interactive displays of statistics as well as ratings and rankings to show their current performance. Especially their clear display of KPIs facilitates the processing of information.
Renewable Energy ESG KPI
Leaders Arena advises on effective ESG web-communication to socially responsible investors. If you feel your IR page could do with an ESG boost, please get in touch with our ESG Analyst firstname.lastname@example.org.