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Oct 17, 2023

Shell ranks second for ESG efforts despite backtracking on oil-reduction promises

New report analyzes UK, US and European investor relations and corporate websites

Shell has ranked in the top five for sustainability communications despite its public U-turn on reducing oil production.

The energy giant ranks second behind German pharmaceutical company Bayer, which scores 85 out of 100 for its ‘transparent, clear and accessible sustainability-related information,’ the Sustainability 100 report details.

Shell, which scores 82 out of 100, has been under scrutiny since June this year for backsliding on commitments to reduce oil production by 1 percent-2 percent each year, instead deciding to focus more on shareholder payouts.

At its latest AGM, Shell shareholders voted 80 percent in favor of the energy giant’s climate report, which includes targets to become net-zero for emissions by 2050, despite protests from activists.

Tangible targets

Unilever, which won the best investor event (large cap) award at the IR Magazine Awards – Europe 2023, scores 81, with Equinix, an internet services company, and multinational semiconductor company AMD following behind with a score of 76 each.  

The report also finds that 82 percent of analyzed companies have an ESG-specific strategy page on their website, 56 percent include tangible targets and 67 percent give details of their ESG ratings.

Looking at climate change, 88 percent of companies have dedicated sections of their website detailing their contribution to reducing it, while 46 percent offer a net-zero.

Promote sustainability efforts

‘Investors, customers and employees all rely on a company’s website as a primary source for ESG-related information,’ says Myles Peacock, global CEO at Investis Digital, which created the report. ‘But corporations that promote sustainability efforts without a clear digital strategy for reaching different audience segments risk alienating these key stakeholders.’

Investis Digital analyzed more than 1,000 IR and corporate websites across the UK, US and Europe, scoring the companies according to how effectively they communicate their ESG and sustainability efforts through corporate websites and digital channels.

Peacock adds: ‘We believe the content companies choose to publish sets the tone for their corporate narrative and, by exploring this in detail, we’ve not only been able to identify those brands that communicate most effectively through their digital content but grasp best practices as well.’