Sustainability communication on corporate websites of Welsh companies

Francesca Conte, Jonathan Deacon, Alfonso Siarno

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review



    Purpose: Over the last decades, the idea of sustainability revolution has gradually taken over. In management perspective, the affirmation of this paradigm has determined the need for organizations to adopt new appropriate digital strategies for the sustainability communication. This study aims to assess the compliance of requirements of sustainability communication on corporate websites of Welsh companies.

    Methodology: A pilot study was conducted on a sample of 50 organizations classified in the Wales Top 300 - 2017. Corporate websites have been analyzed through an operational model able to identify the core dimensions of online sustainability communication (Orientation, Structure, Ergonomics, Content - OSEC), sub-dimensions, such as stakeholder engagement and governance tools, and measurable items. Moreover, the OSEC model detects any sign of greenwashing on websites.

    Findings: Welsh companies achieve higher values of OSEC on the “orientation” and “ergonomics” dimensions, rather than the “structure” and “content”. Results show several weaknesses in sustainability communication on websites, above all, in the adoption of governance functions, in the implementation of CSR reporting and in the development of stakeholder engagement tools.

    Implications: The pilot study offers some useful guidelines for Welsh communication managers and consultants, in order to improve the online sustainability communication through corrective actions in critical areas, and avoid greenwashing. Furthermore, the study allows to identify best practices in terms of effective actions of sustainability communication.

    Originality/Value of paper: This study provides first empirical evidences in a research focused on CSR disclosure of Welsh organizations that constitute a business context not yet widely investigated.

    Keyword: sustainability communication, greenwashing, Welsh business, corporate website, digital communication, Corporate Social Responsibility

    Type: Research paper
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2018
    Event21th QMOD-ICQSS Conference: The Quality Movement, Where are we going now ? - Past Present and Future - Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom
    Duration: 22 Aug 201824 Aug 2018


    Conference21th QMOD-ICQSS Conference
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Internet address


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