Reconomy has produced an algorithm which measures the strength of a businesses’ ‘ethical messaging’ on social media and its individual business strategy, saying this points to sustainability becoming ‘a priority for all operations’.
Reconomy compared 157 of the world’s biggest organisations across 13 industries. Using Corporate Knights’ leaderboard and YouGov’s ranking of the most publicly perceived companies, each firm was analysed to reveal how many mentions of ‘sustainable’ related key terms were included in their business strategy and on social media. Key terms included ‘sustainability’, ‘renewables’, and ‘green energy’.
The data was used to create a ranking based on the most mentions of sustainability, the results of which had interesting results.
Drinks manufacturer Coca-Cola mentions sustainability the most throughout its social media and business strategy. Sustainable keywords were mentioned 676 times across Coca-Cola’s public and professional platforms. This included 614 mentions of sustainability in business strategies and 62 mentions on social platforms.
The research reveals more than which companies are leading the way in terms of ethical management, it proves that all industries are pointing to a future where sustainability is a priority for all operations
After ‘sustainability’ and ‘sustainable’, the key term ‘waste’ was mentioned most throughout Coca-Cola’s social and professional platforms.
In 2019, the beverage giant admitted that it produces three million tonnes of plastic packaging every year. This equates to 200,000 bottles per minute. Despite topping the ‘Sustainable Giants’ list for its ethical pledges, charity Break Free from Plastic named the company as the most polluting brand in a global audit of plastic waste. Coca-Cola has pledged to recycle all packaging by 2030.
Coca-Cola mentions sustainable key terms more than twice as many times as any other company. Unilever and PUMA were second and third behind Coca-Cola with 334 and 238 mentions, respectively.
Tony Munro, Marketing Director of Reconomy, said: “Organisations are looking towards sustainability to produce a reformed focus for their businesses. The research reveals more than which companies are leading the way in terms of ethical management, it proves that all industries are pointing to a future where sustainability is a priority for all operations.
“This is being achieved through ethical production, smarter waste management, and understanding the long-term effects that businesses can have on the environment. Customers are demanding sustainability, and the best businesses are listening.”
Between different sectors, the focus on sustainable initiatives varied. For example, in the fashion and retail sectors, the key term ‘equal’ was prominent. This reflects occupational health and safety, and equal labour objectives of fashion and retail sustainable strategies. British charity WRAP states that 350,000 tonnes of textile are thrown in landfill every year in the UK.
Furthermore, between 2012 and 2016, the fashion sector increased its carbon emissions by 9.2%.
However, the amount of clothing waste from UK households dropped by 50,000 tonnes in the same period. This points to higher quality products which last longer, therefore avoiding landfill.
Organisations that lead with the most sustainable key term mentions in the fashion and retail sectors include Burberry (165 mentions) and Dunelm (158 mentions).
Across all sectors, ‘equal’ was mentioned 1042 time across all companies researched and ‘waste’ was mentioned 638 times.
The key term ‘waste’ was more prominent in the food and drink, and supermarket sectors.
WRAP estimates that food waste in the UK equates to 9.5 million tonnes. 70% of this can be attributed to food that was intended to be consumed, while 30% is unavoidable food waste such as eggs shells and other inedible parts.
Recycling and ethical waste practices must be used to ensure environmental standards their future business survival.
Food waste in the UK is associated with 25 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. After Coca-Cola and Unilever, businesses with the most sustainable key term mentions in the food and drink, and restaurant sectors include Nestlé (215 mentions) and McDonald’s (75 mentions).
Munro added: “All sectors and industries have a part to play in creating a sustainable future for both their customers and the wider public.
“However, companies must also recognise how their products will be used by consumers and how they will be disposed of. Recycling and ethical waste practices must be used to ensure environmental standards their future business survival.”