FTSE 100 Companies failing to take advantage of internet for environmental issues

Source: ERM, 15 March 2000

For all the hype about the Internet, a study carried out by Environmental Resources Management (ERM), one of the world’s largest consultancies, has found that only a handful of the UK’s top companies use the Internet to effectively communicate information about environmental concerns, with a majority offering little or no data whatsoever on environmental and social issues.
The survey- Corporate Reputation and the Internet – targeted all FTSE 100 company web sites for the availability of environmental and social information against a number of criteria.
While the survey found that protest web sites did a good job of communicating information, albeit often in a more sensationalist way, it also found that only 45 of FTSE 100 companies have an environmental section and only 14 present any kind of policy on social issues. Even more surprising was the discovery that only three of the companies surveyed used the web as a way to participate in interactive dialogues with stakeholders on environmental and social issues. "Our survey shows that companies are failing to take advantage of a tremendous opportunity to engage stakeholders in active, meaningful dialogues on these issues," noted ERM Director Tom Woollard. ""At the same time, the number of protest sites continues to proliferate at a rapid rate, with the power to influence the image of individual companies."
The study concludes that today’s companies need to find creative ways of using the Internet as a tool for helping shape public perceptions about their organisations, and think more creatively about how they want to position themselves vis-a-vis environmental and social issues.

The executive report summary