For those interested, please find below an interesting webranking analysis, measuring the transparency of corporate communications across the digital channels of listed companies. This is the 27th edition of the Webranking Europe 500 2023-2024 research in collaboration with Comprend. This year, 44 of Switzerland’s largest listed companies have been selected for inclusion in the research sample, which considers the 500 largest European companies by capitalisation according to the STOXX All Europe 800 index.
KEY RESULTS OF THE 2023-2024 EDITION
Terna, Snam, and Eni emerge as the leading contenders in the European ranking this year, solidifying the dominance of Italian Energy and Utility companies.
Swisscom and Givaudan are the two Swiss companies among the Top 10 in the EU500 ranking this year, alongside five Italian, two Finnish, and one Swedish company.
Red Eléctrica de España earns the title of “Best Improver” in Europe, climbing 263 positions and gaining 21.2 points. Among Swiss companies, VAT Group demonstrates the most improvement in transparency (+14.6 points), followed closely by Belimo and Tecan, both gaining 11.2 points.
In the Webranking research, Swiss companies display a mixed performance compared to their European counterparts. While Switzerland maintains an average score above the European average, with 47.9 points against Europe’s 47, the majority of Swiss companies continue to linger at the bottom of the rankings, with 64% scoring below the 50-point threshold. Noteworthy exceptions include industry leaders Givaudan and Swisscom, maintaining their dominance in the Chemicals and Telecommunications sectors, while Barry Callebaut secures the top spot in the Food, Beverage, and Tobacco sector this year.
The overall performance of Swiss companies aligns with the European sample across all sections. Particularly commendable are the results in the Careers section, where Switzerland secured the second position in Europe with a score of 53%, tied with Italy and surpassed only by Germany with 59%. Additionally, in the Reporting and About us sections, Swiss companies demonstrate high standards, surpassing the 50% threshold for these criteria.
However, challenges persist when it comes to more technical financial disclosures, with Swiss companies scoring below half in both the Investor Relations (27%) and The Share (36%) sections. Further, gaps emerge in communicating ESG and sustainability commitments, scoring 47%, which falls below the European average.
TRASPARENCY TO COMBAT GREENWASHING AND BUILD TRUST
In an era of growing scepticism towards companies and institutions, the results of the Webranking research emphasize, once again, the importance of prioritizing transparency in corporate communications. This not only entails presenting data and figures but contextualizing them, narrating the vision, and illustrating the impacts related to the company’s key topics. Transparency, in essence, means reaching a broader audience through accessible language.
This year’s edition reveals encouraging developments, notably the improvement in communication targeting employees and jobseekers, an area historically among the weakest in the research.
However, financial communication remains a persistent challenge for European companies, struggling to offer a compelling interpretation of their strategy and investment case, which extends to their approach to communicating ESG topics, where the absence of tangible numbers, objectives, and examples often leaves statements superficial.
The real opportunity lies in making one’s commitment tangible, especially in the face of a vast and diverse audience that demands more than mere statements of intent. The Lundquist .trust research, which builds on Webranking, helps companies that demonstrate excellent levels of transparency to push towards new frontiers of credibility, transforming transparency into trust.