Four new research projects related to sustainability communications

Until the end of the year Polarstern will be collaborating with the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) and Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) on four research projects related to the communication of sustainability issues. Are these your issues too?

polarstern news forschungsprojekt fuer nachhaltigkeitskommunikation

Theory & Practice | FHNW and ZHAW students work with Polarstern to develop useful tools for communicating sustainability-related issues Source: fotolia

Communicating sustainability at Swiss organisations

The first group of students is looking into how Swiss organisations communicate their commitment to sustainability (for example via a more technical sustainability report or with emotionally appealing success stories), how they align messages to audiences whose involvement in the theme can range from low to high, and what challenges people in communications and sustainability face on a daily basis. On this basis they will produce an overview of sustainability communications at Swiss organisations.

Maturity model for sustainability communications

Another group of students is identifying relevant dimensions along which sustainability communications can be evaluated, for example content, platforms, level of integration, strategic underpinning and corporate culture. On this basis they will develop a maturity model making it easier for us an agency and for companies themselves to assess the potential for developing sustainability communications.

Conceptual matrix for sustainability communications

Conventional communications approaches are only of limited use when it comes to today’s fragmented communications landscape and sustainability-related topics. In response to this, a group of students is developing a new sustainability communications concept in a simpler form, guided by the Business Model Canvas for business models.

Assessing the impact of sustainability communications

There is no commonly accepted basis for the way companies assess the impact of their sustainability communications, for example the impact of sustainability reports and sustainability as a component of product information, or of news on the web and in customer magazines, newsletters, etc. A group of students is investigating this field with the aim of creating a tool enabling straightforward controlling of sustainability communications on the basis of the impact level model developed by the German Public Relations Consultancies Association (GPRA/DPRG).

Are these your issues too? Contact us if you’d like to be interviewed or help out as an expert, or if you’re interested in the results.

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