The white paper identified three performance groups in terms of how industries are currently communicating about sustainability.
Leading Players: The automotive, forestry, chemicals and pharmaceuticals industries are currently setting the standard for sustainability communication.
Emerging Players: The mining/energy, transportation/shipping, technology, communications and consumer product/retail industries are making progress, yet still have significant opportunity to improve.
Lagging Players: The financial services and media/entertainment are lagging players. Their sustainability communications have the most opportunity for growth.
The study suggests that a starting place for companies to improve communications is through their existing Web sites. By employing interactive tools such as RSS feeds, videos and e-newsletters to report progress updates, starting a company blog and/or building an online community to initiate stakeholder dialogue, a company can begin to engage with their stakeholders in a more meaningful way.
In July, a report by Sustainable Investment Research Analysts Network showed over half of S&P 100 companies released sustainability reports in 2007.