14 January 2022

Looking away is no longer an option

SDGs are a ‘license to operate’ for every organisation
Where organisations with progressive sustainability policies once received compliments, right now organisations that do not have any sustainability policies in place are being criticised for it.
The ‘climate case’ no longer refers only to the lawsuit filed by Urgenda in 2013 against the Dutch State. The climate case now also refers to Shell, which was taken to court by Milieudefensie (a Dutch environment defence company) last year because of their climate policy. Shell is still going in appeal, but regardless of the outcome, the oil company’s reputation will be damaged.

Mandatory sustainability reporting as of 2023

Do you want to prevent your organisation from suffering the same fate as Shell and the Dutch State? Then you’d better make sure your CSR roadmap is in order. Urgenda and Milieudefensie are not the only ones taking serious steps. The ACM has announced that it will issue fines to organisations that use misleading sustainability claims. And the EU requires large companies to report on the effects of their activities on the environment and society from 2023 onwards. Unlike now, the information must then be checked by an auditor. To be ready for implementation in 2023, organisations need to start working on it very quickly.

SDGs are essential for any growth strategy

SDGs are no longer a side project but are essential for a sustainable growth strategy for any organisation. Investors, clients, and consumers are increasingly taking SDGs into account in their decisions. ABP (a Dutch pension fund) sold 15 billion of its fossil investments in 2021. Government tenders contain increasingly strict sustainability requirements. And Ipsos research shows that 63% of Dutch people feel that organisations that do nothing to combat climate change are letting their customers and employees down.

Reputation strategy

A reputation strategy based on ‘Be good and tell it’ is no longer sustainable. From 2023 onwards, compliance management is: ‘Act responsibly and report it’. If you do nothing, you are signing your own bankruptcy as an organisation. Sustainable, circular, and inclusive entrepreneurship will become the standard. Do you want to profile your organisation on this theme? You will then need to stay one step ahead of policy measures to give direction to the realisation of the SDGs. And show leadership. For example, Eneco has brought forward – by 15 years – its existing ambition to no longer emit CO2 and to operate in a fully climate-neutral manner. The energy supplier wants to close or convert all its large gas-fired power stations before 2035. Outdoor brand Patagonia has long been at the forefront with a rich history of CSR. Since its launch, the clothing brand has been looking for ways to improve its products while encouraging consumers to use less and recycle more.

Road to 2023

Mandatory sustainability reporting will be a game changer for business. Organisations have one year left to manage their risks. To determine whether you have the right cards in your hand, Hague and Ipsos are conducting a reputation research into the best and worst rated organisations in four key sectors in the run-up to the mandatory sustainability reporting in 2023: health, energy, agri-food, and technology. For each sector, we will measure the reputation of the companies active in the sector based on Ipsos’ reputation model.

Get ready for the future

Transitions bring uncertainty: the force field unfolds again, and expectations change. Would you like to get better grip on the reputation of your organisation? In preparation of, or in addition to, the reputation research per sector, Hague and Ipsos are happy to support you with in-depth reputation research of your organisation.

The results do not only give you insights in your current reputation. They also provide you a compass to position your organisation in the rapidly changing world and to seize the opportunities that big changes offer.

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14 January 2022
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