Climate change now leads as the single greatest issue facing corporate brands today, according to an annual analysis of social issues affecting companies by strategy firm High Lantern Group.
HLG’s second annual “Brand Pressure Index,” which tracked 300 social topics in an effort to analyze which issues are most impacting corporate brands today, found that climate change now tops the list as the issue generating the greatest amount of public pressure on social media platforms.
|Top issues facing corporate brands today
(by number of social media mentions).
Sustainability issues have surged overall since HLG’s year analysis last year, according to the report, and now account for six of the top 20 issues facing businesses in 2020 (aside climate change, top challenges also include plant- and lab-based foods, the use of pesticides, electric vehicles, fossil fuels and plastic pollution).
Labor insecurity concerns—such as living wages and union concerns—which topped HLG’s list last year, slid somewhat this year.
Other top issues include gender discrimination, sexual harassment, data security, trade barriers, race equality, misinformation and natural disasters.
According to the report, tech brands face the most stakeholder scrutiny when it comes to enacting cause-related measures, followed by restaurants and food products brands. Facebook, Amazon and Google were the top three corporate brands facing the most issue-related pressure. Boeing and McDonald’s round out the top five, followed by Walmart, Apple, Uber, Monsanto and General Motors.
The report also found that overall, issue-related pressure against brands increased 3.8 percent in the last year, underscoring businesses need to take a stand on the social, environmental and political issues facing the world.
HLG’s analysis relied on the proprietary data that included 6.2 million tweets among activists, influencers and stakeholders involving 1,000 top corporate brands and more than 80 industries over a 12-month period.