For the third time, Misum, a multi-disciplinary research environment at Stockholm School of Economics, published a report titled “Walking the Talk?”. This study compiles several metrics to evaluate whether Sweden’s largest companies do what they say in terms of sustainability.
“There is still more talking than walking when it comes to sustainability in Sweden’s largest listed companies, and the companies continue to be short term in perspective,” the researchers start. “But Misum’s third report also shows that companies have moved sustainability higher up on the strategic agenda.”
“Communicating measurable goals in time and scope, as well as reporting progress on those goals, impacts our trust in a company’s sustainability work. Only through communicating goals and progress can external stakeholders move beyond projected corporate images to evaluating a company’s sustainability efforts,” says Lin Lerpold, Associate Professor and responsible for the report in the press release.
“S/CR communication has continued to improve since the last study in 2017, though with a lower increase than seen between 2015 and 2017. The focus remains predominantly on the environment rather than on social sustainability,” Lerpold highlights.
“Interestingly, although sustainability is more often integrated into a company’s communicated strategies, business models and CEO statements, fewer people responsible for sustainability can be identified in the executive management teams than in the 2017 study.”
“72 of the 95 companies identified which UN Sustainable Development Goals they deemed most material to them; of those, 52 companies communicated on how they actually worked with them.”
Among the best in the 2019 “Walking the Talk?” study are BillerudKorsnäs, Stora Enso, Sandvik, Essity, Axfood, H&M, Nordea, Astra Zeneca, Atlas Copco, Saab and Telia.
The full report is available here and contains a complete list of companies, as well as explanations around the methodology the researchers have now used for the third time.