We have recently released the fourth (and, for now, final) edition of our transparency toolkit. This edition focuses on what and how you can communicate in regard to your transparency efforts.
We offer advice on the best way to communicate with different audiences, such as consumers and stakeholders. We also talk about how to select what you communicate on. To illustrate our advice, we have chosen best practice examples from companies from a variety of sectors.
How is Transparency Communication Different to Other Types of Communication?
Although it will share some similarities, communicating about your transparency efforts is different to the other types of communication you undertake, and will need to be approached carefully.
When communicating about transparency efforts, it is important that you look at your communication with a critical lens and ensure that you are being realistic. This is not the place for grandiose claims, you must be able to back up what you are saying with concrete actions and results. It is also important to offer context that the average person will understand when quoting facts and figures.
Big Transparency Goals are Achieved Step by Step
You can share your big plans (e.g. to be carbon neutral by 2050) but to show that you are serious it is important that you also share how you will get there and the small steps that a big goal like this entails. A company could communicate, for example, that in 2021 they will be using 100% renewable energy in their factories and that this will reduce their carbon footprint by 20%, the equivalent of taking 1,000 cars off the road for a year.
You should communicate your successes and also your failures. Perhaps in 2020 you planned to switch your fleet of delivery vehicles to electric cargo bikes but due to COVID-19 you had to focus on other priorities, or there was a shortage of bikes as they were in high demand. If you have failed to meet a target, be honest about what happened and why and how you intend to improve the situation.
Good luck with your transparency journey, if you have any questions on transparency you can contact email@example.com.
In March, we will provide translated versions of this document in Spanish, French and German.