Several years ago at a business sustainability conference I attended a session titled “Why Are Corporate Social Responsibility Reports So Bad?” The presenter asserted that CSR reports didn’t tell you much about a company’s environmental impact or present context for their sustainability efforts.
Over the past several years, CSR reports have evolved into slick on-line websites with lovely pictures and colorful graphics. They state sustainability goals and the company’s progress toward those goals. But there’s still something missing.
Where’s the Energy?
When I’ve heard people from New Belgium Brewery or Seventh Generation speak at conferences about their company’s sustainability efforts, their enthusiasm for the topic is contagious. Watching their slides and hearing their stories I am swept up and a voice inside me says “I want to work there!” These presenters are excited to be part of a company where business is a force for social and environmental change, to be a part of something bigger than themselves.
By contrast, when reading through CSR Reporting’s Top 10 CSR reports of 2015, the palpable energy I hear from sustainable business conference presenters is missing.
Take CSR Reporting to the Next Level
In the spirit of continuous improvement, which is the cornerstone of corporate sustainability efforts, it’s time to take sustainable business storytelling to the next level. Give the public a tour of your net zero energy buildings, smart microgrid and zero waste program with a five minute 360 degree virtual reality video.
Here is a net zero energy building in Sunnyvale, California. Would you like a guided tour to hear about how they achieved net zero with the building envelope, lighting controls, HVAC system and solar? I would.
The latest 360 degree VR cameras are being used to give virtual reality tours of $35 million estates for sale or tours of Amsterdam. Let’s put these $60,000 cameras to use helping companies tell their sustainability stories in engaging new ways.
Attract and Retain the Next Generation of Employees
For companies that want to attract the best and brightest Millennials, keep in mind that their generation likes trying new technologies, appreciates openness and transparency, and cares about environmental issues. Using 360 degree VR to bring a corporate social responsibility story to life is a strong recruitment tool. The first step is to think through the story you want to tell.
What more information about a talented group that can help you with this? Message me on LinkedIn.