ESG News in November: 3 Trends We’ve Noticed
As 2022 draws to a close, companies continue to send diverse ESG news announcements. Here are three trends we noticed in November among press releases sent via PR Newswire that can help journalists anticipate companies’ ESG messaging for the rest of this year and beyond.
1. Connecting With Global Events
The 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP27, was a significant generator of ESG news this month. Companies took the opportunity to announce new ESG initiatives, partnerships, progress, and recognitions. Keeping tabs on timely and newsworthy ESG events and coordinating content around them gives companies a seat at the table, whether they are attending the event or not.
In the examples below, both Tencent and IBM present specific climate and social initiatives, using COP27 as the backdrop. Both companies get to the “so what” immediately in their headlines and subheadlines to help journalists spot the story immediately.
- Tencent Showcases Initiatives to Tackle Climate Change at COP27
- IBM Teams Up to Help Accelerate Clean Energy Transition for Vulnerable Populations
2. Annual Reports
It’s the time of year when companies begin sharing or preparing their annual reports. They use this opportunity to create engaging press releases that highlight all the good their company has achieved. Companies are creating easily-consumable releases by crafting headlines with a strong action verb, incorporating bullets and strategic bolding to draw attention to key highlights, driving traffic back to their site with a clear call to action link, and using the best visual that drives the overall narrative.
While Union Pacific’s release didn’t mention COP27, it was issued during the climate summit, connecting UP’s progress to the larger, global conversation on the topic. UP’s headline notes its particular first-in-its-industry accomplishment, and Boston Beer Company uses one of the most engaging report cover images this year. Both releases are case studies on how to highlight the most important hyperlink and use bolding and bullets to break down key points.
- Union Pacific Details Efforts to Address Climate Change; Becomes First U.S. Railroad to Support Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures
- Boston Beer Company Releases Inaugural ESG Report
3. Incorporating ESG Into Earnings
More companies are carving out a section in their quarterly earnings releases for ESG updates. For them, it’s become as standard as “Quarterly Highlights” or “Business Outlook.” Nasdaq research in Q2 showed a “huge” jump in ESG commentary during quarterly earnings. And earlier this year, FactSet analyzed the correlation between companies that discussed ESG during earnings calls and higher ESG ratings.
In most quarters, it’s as simple as the techniques United Airlines and Pembina Pipeline Corporation use in the examples below: bulleted key highlights and a call to action link, if applicable.
- United Airlines Third Quarter Financial Results Solidly Beat Expectations; Expects Q4 Adjusted Operating Margin to Exceed 2019
- Pembina Pipeline Corporation Reports Strong Results for the Third Quarter 2022 and Raises Guidance
For end-of-year financial reporting, look to Marathon Oil’s coordinated ESG plan from early this year: an easily digestible ESG report issued just before the quarterly earnings release and an earnings release that referenced the aforementioned ESG report and included bullets and a small table, seamlessly weaving ESG content in with the financials.
Don’t Miss Future ESG News
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Sarah Roberts is Director of Customer Content Services. In a previous life, she was a newspaper reporter in the Midwest before permanently retiring her snow shovel and moving to the Land of Enchantment. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, exploring the craft beer scene and petting all the dogs.