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22.07.2022

A trip to the Black Forest

The "Duravit Challenge" in sustainability communication

[Translate to English:] Studentinnen und Studenten der ESB Business School zu Gast bei Duravit

By Alfred Max

Sustainability communication is becoming ever more important to companies - including the leading international manufacturer of designer bathrooms, Duravit AG, based in Hornberg.  As part of a consulting project, this Black Forest medium sized company cooperated with ESB Business School this summer semester. Under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Maud Helene Schmiedeknecht and Prof. Dr. Bernd Banke, students from the BSc International Business (IB) and MSc International Business Development (IBD) programmes worked intensively on issues relating to sustainability communication. During a field trip to Duravit's headquarters, they presented the results of their work to company representatives. They then went on a tour of the plant.

"Your students have done an incredible job. Now we can use your analysis to update our sustainability reporting," said Marcus Staudt, HSE Manager at Duravit, after the presentations. He was enthusiastic, adding "It was a pleasure to welcome you to our factory in the Black Forest!"
The presentations focused on questions such as - What are the trends in sustainability communication? How can companies become front runners in sustainability communication in terms of content and design? How can companies align their sustainability communication along their channels such as sustainability report, corporate website and social media?
As part of the Duravit Challenge, the Bachelor students focused on the layout and systematic/aesthetic approach of the sustainability report. They provided valuable advice from the perspective of Gen Z, which met with great interest from Duravit management. The master's students analysed megatrends and used the benchmarking method to derive recommendations on sustainability communication content, channels and design. Each team had a specific deep dive: from content-specific topics such as "sustainability engagement through cooperation" to channel-specific topics such as "B2B, B2C and social media" to design-specific topics such as "communication formats".
The ESB teams' conclusion - Overall, it is important to communicate sustainability actions in a manner tailored to different audiences. This includes identifying the audience as well as setting successful communication objectives that include the basic principles of communication, megatrends, and creating a strong communication plan. In addition, the tone and style of communication should be specifically adapted and channels should be aligned. Developing a sustainability communications ecosystem ensures that everyone can access the information they deem relevant.