For the first time ever, the award goes to two winners: Covestro AG and KfW have received the "Thought Leadership Award 2020", honoring the best communication efforts that shaped major public debates in business and society. UNICEPTA and public relations association Deutsche Public Relations Gesellschaft (DPRG) e.V. are awarding this year’s prize to the companies that have made climate protection and sustainability a crucial part of their corporate strategy and communications, and have been the most successful in presenting themselves as pioneers in climate protection. "This year’s winners are two very different companies. Both have consistently focused their strategy on sustainability and climate protection and are role models for how companies can successfully contribute to this important global debate," says Claas Sandrock, Managing Partner of UNICEPTA.
Covestro and KfW have both made an excellent job regarding last year’s most important topic – coming from different angles:
Covestro scores thanks to the fact that it has been able to integrate the topic of sustainability/climate protection into its corporate strategy the best. As a B-to-B company, Covestro has a comparatively low reach but the qualitative resonance is excellent. More than one third of all posts on Covestro's own social media channels refer to sustainability issues. With CEO Markus Steilemann serving as a strong ambassador, Covestro is able to credibly underpin its communication efforts regarding sustainability.
Regarding the topic of sustainability/climate protection, KfW has the highest impact among all companies. Of course, lawmakers have “commissioned” the bank to promote sustainable projects – thus sustainability is part of its communication plan. But KfW has executed this task excellently. 19 percent of all external contributions on KfW refer to sustainability topics. Corporate Communications makes sustainability a central issue on its own social media channels: 35 percent of all its own posts refer to its own initiatives and programs on climate protection. In addition, KfW has a strong network with stakeholders dealing with highly relevant topics.
Also among the finalists are: the retail companies dm-drogerie, Ikea Deutschland and Tchibo with sustainable products and initiatives, as well as the automotive supplier and technology company Bosch with its promise to be CO2-neutral as of 2020.
Multi-stage analysis of 460,000 posts
The basis for the award is a comprehensive analysis of editorial and social media. UNICEPTA has evaluated and analyzed a total of around 460,000 posts with a total of three million user reactions in a multi-stage process to determine which of the 250 companies with the highest turnover in Germany were strongest and predominantly positive visible in all media content with the attribution “climate-friendly” in 2019.
In an in-depth qualitative content analysis, the analysts assessed how strong and clear the "climate-friendly" rating of journalists and posts actually is for the strongest companies in each of five revenue clusters. They analyzed the communication efforts of six companies. The goal was to determine which of them successfully presented themselves as sustainable and eco-friendly thanks to excellent corporate communication.
A comprehensive UNICEPTA results report is available for download at www.unicepta.com/thoughtleadershipaward.