Gem of the day

BrandLogic's 2012 "SustainabilityIQ Matrix", sold as a new way of looking at sustainability leadership in business, suffers from a few fatal flaws:
  • Comparing apples to oranges - Different sectors have wildly different sustainability impacts, so benchmarking BP, Allianz and Walmart all within the same framework doesn't tell a very useful story.
  • Defining sustainability as "ESG" - Environmental, social and governance factors made for a useful reporting foundation when companies were just starting to get their heads around these issues about a decade ago. For real leaders like Danone, where the company's entire business model (except for Waters) has shifted to a strategic focus on health, ESG is totally marginal.
Case in point are the results, which place the oil majors - BP, Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil - and even regulatory disaster Bank of America, firmly in the "Challengers" category. To give a better sense of just how wrong that is, here's BrandLogic's definition of "Challengers" and what that means for companies in that category:

"Companies whose real ESG performance is above average and substantially ahead of their perceived performance may have opportunities to secure unrealized ROI from investments in communications and brand positioning."

More brand positioning linked to "best in class" performance in underperforming energy and banking sectors - oh yes, that's what sustainability needs.

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