The top 100 companies shaping the sustainability agenda through social media

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Social media is shaping sustainability agendas

In a virtual world where one comment can mobilise millions, it is no surprise that some organisations have realised the potential for social media to amplify and influence. From crowdsourcing through Twitter to YouTube videos that inspire debate, at Salterbaxter we’ve seen social media play an increasing role in shaping attitudes, discovering solutions and telling stories around sustainability.

Inspired by its almost limitless potential, we are lifting-the-lid on how, where and why brands are talking sustainability, on social media creating...

...SB{influencers}100 the first data-driven index of the top 100 companies shaping the sustainability agenda through social media.

The resulting index is a unique ranking of the most influential corporate voices on social media for sustainability. This is the first study of its kind to combine sustainability expertise, quantitative data and a complex proprietary scoring system; proving the value and impact of sustainability communications.



Power Players

High-profile individuals that can tweet on behalf of their company contribute significantly to the overall influence of the sustainability strategy.

Nestlé win over
opinion leaders

Nestlé’s investment in social media, firstly with consumers and more recently with opinion leaders appears to be paying off as results indicate a turnaround in brand reputation amongst this audience.

Dedicated or integrated?

Most leading brands have a dedicated social channel to focus their sustainability communications through, but a few seed content through corporate and/or consumer-facing channels.

Influential Partners

Posts that emphasise collaborations with recognised major NGOs are among the most widely shared.



9 Factors of Success

  • One-sized social media
    doesn't fit all
  • Have a dialogue,
    not a monologue
  • Don't forget the
    corporate channel
  • Know your audience, and
    ...Speak in their language

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The SB{influencers}100 Leader Board

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Summary (PDF)


The Methodology

We created a means of measuring influence. We do this by creating a score for the amount of activity a business posts about sustainability topics, the reach of these communications and the number of interactions and engagement the content generates. The last part is key, as content is only ‘influencing’ people if we can prove that it is being discussed, shared and passed on.

What is unique about our ranking is that it analyses the impact of only the social media content about sustainability topics across Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Instagram.

For more detail on our approach and calculations, see the detailed methodology

  • Activity
    Based on the number of sustainability themed posts
  • Engagement
    Based on the average number of interactions per sustainability themed post, video or update
  • Reach
    Based on the number of followers across all relevant channels
  • Score
    Social media influence for Sustainabilty

Read methodology

Check out our other observations

Can social media create real change?
What does social media influence on sustainability mean for B2B brands?
What’s the potential of LinkedIn?
Aren’t Twitter chats just the same people talking to each other?

Visit our blog for more interpretation around the value of social media for sustainability

Read our blog

Or, contact us for a chat or join the discussion on #SBi100.

Want to know more about your score?


We'd be only too happy to talk with you.
Contact us to:

  • Learn more about your ranking and how to improve it
  • Understand where you stand relative to competitors
  • Talk about how you could maximise social media to support your sustainability activity and influence: whether increasing an existing presence or just starting out?
  • Or, hear more about how our clients are accessing our social media insight and listening services