Sustainable business is a rapidly growing trend in the global economy. According to Newton Media’s analysis, also the Czech media’s interest in ESG tripled during 2021, and it is becoming clear who is aspiring to be the leader in the Czech Republic. These are large banks, audit companies, and ČEZ Group.
Social responsibility and sustainability are becoming one of the key issues on which corporations build their image and further development. According to an analysis by Newton Media, in the course of 2021, a circle of about twenty managers of large companies emerged, who appeared in dozens of texts related to the ESG criteria. The overall media interest in ESG issues tripled last year. „MONETA Money Bank, which is most often covered in the media thanks to its director of sustainability and communication Zuzana Filipová, is running for the queen of the Czech ESG,“ says analysis author Dan Weidenhoffer of Newton Media. „Of the banking institutions, ESG is further associated mainly with the managers of Home Credit, Komerční banka and Česká spořitelna. Audit firms and ČEZ Group also represent a significant group promoting ESG,” Weidenhoffer continues.
A comparison of the popularity of ESG on the social networks of the Visegrad Four countries shows that Poland is the clear leader in the region. “In 2021, for every 100,000 Poles, there were 22 reports of ESG, while in the Czech Republic, it was only 12. In the case of Hungary ten and in the case of Slovaks six reports,“ says Dan Weidenhoffer. The reason is that there are several strong titles in Poland focused on economic topics and banking, which often deal with ESG issues. Their readers then lead a lively discussion under the articles.
The main promoters of ESG on Twitter include the official accounts of banks such as PKO and Crédit Agricole, the largest Polish insurance company Grupa PZU or the three audit firms PWC, Deloitte, and KPMG. Unrivaled, however, in the promotion of ESG, the Twitter account of the Warsaw Stock Exchange maintains the account of the Warsaw Stock Exchange GPW.
However, managers such as PKN Orlen’s Chairman of the Board, Daniel Obajtek, PKO’s Deputy Chairman of the Board Jerzy Kwieciński, or PKO’s spokesman Paweł Jurek did not hesitate to use their private accounts to spread awareness of ESG. They shared dozens of tweets or posts. For example, when CEO Daniel Obajtek posted on his FB about PKN Orlen’s plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, it earned him a thousand shares.
Both these companies and their representatives have accounts with large numbers of followers. For example, the PZU Group has 8.5 thousand followers on Twitter, and the PKO bank even has 10.8 thousand, while its CEO Daniel Obajtek has 83,000 Facebook followers. The account of Deloitte Polska boasts a similar number of followers, and the Polish branch of Credit Agricole has over 91,000 followers on Facebook. Any post placed on such accounts can have a greater impact than articles published on most sites.
ESG awareness-raising events
Especially in the last quarter of 2021, several events dedicated to the ESG took place in Poland, and their participants and other stakeholders were diligently informed about them on the networks. For example, on November 3-5, the ESG Polska Moc Biznesu Congress took place in Warsaw under the auspices of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, where representatives of Strabag and Microsoft, among others, spoke. The ESG Polska Moc Biznesu Congress had its own Twitter account, which produced 169 tweets between September and December.
ESG professional organization
Forum Odpowiedzialnego Biznesu (FOB) has been operating in Poland for 22 years. Since 2014, Marzena Strzelczak has been the head of its seven-member management board, consisting exclusively of women. FOB is the most active source of news about ESG on both Facebook and Twitter. Altogether, this association shared almost 500 contributions last year.
Poles are rewarded for their activity on social networks and their cooperation and participation in often mediatized ESG events such as congresses, educational projects, awards, and rankings. In the Czech environment, the benefits of cooperation have already been verified, for example, by entities involved in the Bankers to Schools project or Komerční banka and Amundi in cooperating on a survey of Czechs‘ interest in ESG. We will see if, in 2022, we hear more about ESG on the Czech social media as well.