With the world gathering around the idea that sustainable development is possible and corporations are constantly growing, economically, and in authority, expectations are rising. Corporations seeking the benefits of being branded as sustainable must attain legitimacy and position themselves in the mind of key stakeholders. For corporations in the forest sector, the circular bioeconomy enables favorable sustainability actions within the core business but does not automatically sway the perception of stakeholders. In this study, the utilization of corporate communication for connecting the core business ti sustainability is explained. Three main areas of communication were found, “climate benefits”, “responsible management of forests”, and “responsibility for communities and employees”.
Through these messages, the corporations seek legitimacy and a position connected to sustainability in the mind of the stakeholders. While responsibility for forests and people can be controlled by legislation and certification, climate benefit is unique for the sector and is hard to communicate. Therefore, the corporations have developed models for quantifying climate benefit. However, even though the models all are based on the principles of LULUCF, the models include different variables. One corporation includes products such as cardboard and paper, while others only included sawn wooden products. This makes comparison impossible and the actual numbers presented by the corporations cryptic. If corporations want to seek legitimacy and be branded as sustainable, it is essential that they seek to develop a standardized model. Such a model may also further educate the general public of the benefits of a circular bioeconomy.
Ludvig Essebro Jägmästarprogrammet
I am pursuing a double degree in business administration and forest science. In the future, I want to work with the forest resource and help establish its place in a sustainable world