Following the general principle that, when developing sustainable investor communications practices companies should:
- Consider all aspects of their 'mainstream' investor communications practice and ask "Can we usefully apply this to sustainable investor communications?" and
- Consider all aspects of their sustainable investor communications practice and ask "If we're not doing this for 'mainstream' IR, why are we doing it for SRI/ESG?"
… companies have increasingly developed SRI communications processes that follow the direct, interactive approach that they use with 'mainstream' investors.
Steps to take
Mainstream investor relations companies have a large number of communications practices at their disposal. These include:
- One-on-one meetings,
- Presentation events and
- Capital markets days.
Many of these have migrated online during 2020 and look likely to stay there given the improved reach and efficiency that this gives companies.
Factors to consider
When planning interactive communications on sustainability with investors, companies should stick as closely to conventional investor relations practice as possible.
Best practice in this respect demands that companies should giving open access to information to all market participants. For this reason, an annual webinar on sustainability issues should be considered a bare minimum - so that all investors and analysts get some direct time with management.
Beyond that, companies should be guided by the level of investor interest in engagement and prioritize their time, according to the influence of the individual investors.
Companies should be wary of over-engagement with investors without assessing their ability to maintain this over a longer period.