New Research Shows Companies Can Earn Public Trust by Better Communicating Efforts to Address Climate Change

Companies can gain trust from 8 in 10 Americans through these initiatives, but the lack of communications prevents many companies from getting credit for their efforts

NEW YORK--()--Research conducted by Research+Data Insights for Hill+Knowlton Strategies and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) shows that Americans see climate change as one of the most pressing issues facing the country. However, only 35 percent of Americans believe companies are doing more today than 10 years ago to address climate change.

If companies were to provide greater visibility into their efforts to cut down on emissions and mitigate climate change, they have the opportunity to enjoy a dramatic increase in public trust, the research revealed. Sixty-two percent of Americans want to learn more about private sector efforts to improve energy efficiency, and 82 percent of Americans report that increased transparency around climate change initiatives will increase the trust they have in a company.

“The key takeaway is that if companies want to build trust and strengthen their license to operate with key public audiences, they must proactively communicate the steps they are taking to address climate change and tie those efforts to clear metrics,” said Robert Ludke, head of H+K Strategies’ Corporate Advisory practice.

The study revealed that 91 percent of Americans believe it is important for companies to implement greater corporate sustainability practices, while nearly two-thirds (63 percent) expect companies to actively pursue and implement such policies.

“Today, most companies understand that sustainability is a critical consideration in any viable long-term business model,” said Tom Murray, vice president of Environmental Defense Fund’s Corporate Partnerships Program. “What this survey reveals is the extent to which many companies underestimate the value of accurate, transparent communications around sustainability efforts.”

Another important insight is that outside experts are seen by the public as the most trusted source of information to validate the climate change efforts by companies, with 51 percent of the respondents indicating that reports from third party organizations are the most credible means by which a company can convey its efforts to be more energy efficient.

“This research demonstrates that a clear and transparent process of tracking and communicating progress on these steps is an essential part of maximizing the value these efforts can bring to a business,” said Ludke.

About Environmental Defense Fund

Environmental Defense Fund, a leading national nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. Follow us on Twitter on Facebook and EDF’s Business Innovations Blog.

About Hill+Knowlton Strategies

Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Inc. is a leading international communications consultancy, providing services to local, multinational and global clients. The firm is headquartered in New York, with 89 offices in 52 countries, as well as an extensive associate network. The agency is part of WPP, the world’s largest communications services group. For more information, please visit www.hkstrategies.com.

Contacts

Environmental Defense Fund
Nancy Buzby, 617-406-1821
nbuzby@edf.org
or
Hill+Knowlton Strategies
Rebecca Ballard, 202-944-1909
rebecca.ballard@hkstrategies.com

Companies can earn public trust by better communicating efforts to address climate change, according to research conducted by Research+Data Insights, part of Hill+Knowlton Strategies, for H+K Strategies and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). (Infographic: Hill+Knowlton Strategies)

Companies can earn public trust by better communicating efforts to address climate change, according to research conducted by Research+Data Insights, part of Hill+Knowlton Strategies, for H+K Strategies and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). (Infographic: Hill+Knowlton Strategies)

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Release Summary

Companies can earn public trust by better communicating efforts to address climate change, according to research from Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Research+Data Insights, and Environmental Defense Fund.

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Contacts

Environmental Defense Fund
Nancy Buzby, 617-406-1821
nbuzby@edf.org
or
Hill+Knowlton Strategies
Rebecca Ballard, 202-944-1909
rebecca.ballard@hkstrategies.com