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June 01, 2017

How ArcelorMittal streamlined sustainable development comms

Written by Investis Digital

Integrative content promotion and reporting can help companies more effectively tie their communications goals to their organizational performance. ArcelorMittal, one of the world's largest steel and mining companies with operations in 27 countries, worked with Investis to develop a new framework for communicating their sustainable development initiatives. 

Embracing digital-first communications for sustainable reporting 

ArcelorMittal invests heavily in their sustainable initiatives and wanted to strategically communicate these along with their related goals. Traditionally, sustainability reporting has relied on an annual model that provides a snapshot on how a company is doing. Yet, the reality of sustainability initiatives is that they're ongoing. Providing access to up-to-the-moment results, investments and stories helps better connect the company's diverse stakeholders — including investors, employees, customers and the press.


By taking a digital-first approach to sustainability reporting, companies are able to share the narrative with different audiences as it unfolds in real time. The company developed a series of 10 outcomes to crystallize their messaging around sustainable development initiatives. The 10 outcomes focus on a range of different factors, from giving back to the communities where they work to reducing their carbon footprint. Investors, media partners and others interested in the company's social and environmental trajectory can access digital-first reports that track progress, impact and innovation over time. 

Integrated content promotion: sustainable initiatives and operational reporting 

Reporting separately on a company's sustainable development initiatives can create a false impression that corporate social responsibility is somehow separate from the organization's broader performance. At ArcelorMittal, a sustainable development focus is a core competitive advantage that impacts the company's day-to-day operations, from how they manufacture their products to how they train their team. Investis worked with them to develop an integrated reporting structure that helps tell that story more effectively and holistically.


By embracing integrated reporting, companies can deliver their financial, operational and sustainability news under one program, providing investors and others with a better sense of how each component relates to a company's growth and success. With a digital-first focus, and the launch of a sustainability hub that is regularly updated with stories and insights about initiatives that matter to the company, integrated reporting allows ArcelorMittal to share critical information with their audiences in real time. 

Incorporating visuals: evolving messaging 

As the way we consume content evolves, it's important to find new modalities for sharing stories. Going digital first and embracing a continuous, integrated reporting model is critical for supporting the communications access today's audiences want. The increasing expectation of visuals encouraged ArcelorMittal to work with Investis to develop a visual experience for their digital channels.


Using a series of graphics published on the website, they developed a visual language that relates to how the company communicates its sustainability priorities and activities. They also developed one infographic that provides an in-depth snapshot of ArcelorMittal's sustainability initiatives. In one glance, audiences can put sustainability in the context of the company's broader performance objectives and see how it affects inputs and outputs at the company level.


Integrated, continuous reporting that embraces real-time communication with investors is the next frontier in staging meaningful dialogues between your company and the public. In addition, integrated content promotion across different channels — from your website to social channels — supported by visuals helps today's busy audience quickly grasp your organization's most important messages.


As ArcelorMittal has shown, strategic communications can help move focus to critical initiatives such as sustainability and corporate transparency. It can also help showcase the narrative you want to ensure the market understands.

Liz Alton writes about technology, marketing and business for enterprise audiences. She's a Forbes contributor and her writing has been published in Inc., USA Today, Entrepreneur, the Huffington Post, Mic, Harvard Business Review blogs and the WSJ. She holds an MBA and a BA in journalism, and is completing a masters in Journalism at Harvard.

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