Information Systems for Environmental Sustainability

How IT can make the world a greener place

Sustainability 2.0: Latest Insights

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How is social media being used at 50 leading global companies to promote sustainability in early 2011?

According to analysis by Sustainable Life Media and Zumer of 2,800 YouTube videos, over 900 tweets, thousands of blogs, thousands of Facebook wall posts and 45 executive and industry expert interviews [more]:

  • 76% of sustainability professionals interviewed believe that their investment in sustainability-themed social media will help gain market share, increase the size of the overall market, or, ideally, both.
  • Companies that achieve high degrees of social media and sustainability integration are charting courses toward healthier, sustainable and more interactive segments in rapidly expanding markets.
  • Companies such as Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Dell and Toyota (all profiled in case studies) have unearthed the enormous potential of combining social media and sustainability to gain market share and acquire customers in new and growing markets.
  • The confluence of social media and sustainability is supercharging business performance in three core sustainability functions—reporting and compliance; stakeholder engagement; and operational efficiency.
  • Reports are getting shorter and more interactive: on average, 60% of companies studied are including videos in their sustainability reporting and 2/3 of companies generate content for their corporate YouTube channel.   The average sustainability report has reduced in length by more than 25% during the past four years.
  • Finally, social media is impacting the way leading corporations are planning and executing their business practices.  As an example, companies have been able to increase internal recognition of their sustainability goals, on average,  by 10-15% through the use of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. This is resulting in greater compliance with energy, waste and water efficiency strategies.
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Author: nigelpm

Associate Professor of Information Systems, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan. Research/teach/consult - how IT transforms value generation in firms, focusing on corporate sustainability performance (energy reduction and carbon emission management).

One thought on “Sustainability 2.0: Latest Insights

  1. I agree. I would imagine some kind of social media analytics software, but not sure.

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