School of Business publications portal
Aaltodoc publication archive
Aalto University School of Business Master's Theses are now in the Aaltodoc publication archive (Aalto University institutional repository)
School of Business | Department of Marketing and Management | International Business | 2010
Thesis number: 12364
Strategic sustainability communication in an environmentally sensitive industry - Case: Neste Oil Renewable Fuels
Author: Räisänen, Heikki
Title: Strategic sustainability communication in an environmentally sensitive industry - Case: Neste Oil Renewable Fuels
Year: 2010  Language: eng
Department: Department of Marketing and Management
Academic subject: International Business
Index terms: kansainväliset yhtiöt; international companies; yritysviestintä; business communication; strategia; strategy; yhteiskuntavastuu; corporate responsibility; kestävä kehitys; sustainable development
Pages: 97
Key terms: strategic communication, CSR, sustainability, stakeholders, internal communications, external communications, strateginen viestintä, yritysvastuu, kestävä kehitys, sidosryhmät, sisäinen viestintä, ulkoinen viestintä
Objectives of the study: This study seeks to assess the communication dilemma between the corporate world and its external actors in an environmentally sensitive industry. More specifically, the industry under scrutiny is the renewable fuels business, which faces multiple communicative challenges from multiple directions. This study focused on the strategic communication of renewable fuel raw material environmental issues and sustainable development from the company perspective. The main research question is How can a company operating in an environmentally sensitive, issue-provoking industry strategically communicate its sustainability actions, policies, practices, decisions and goals to its various stakeholders?

Methodology and conceptual framework: The study is a single-case study. The primary source of data for this study were 12 semi-structured interviews with managerial-level people at the case company with various responsibilities relating to communication. The secondary source of data were company publications, website and Intranet. The conceptual framework of the study combines several theoretical concepts from strategic communication, corporate social responsibility (CSR), stakeholder and issues management literature streams. The conceptual framework depicts the phenomenon from the interplay between the overall sustainability strategy and sustainability communication strategy; to the dialogue-type communication links between the company and its stakeholders internally and externally; and eventually to the potential outcomes of the communication activity; and their effects on the overall strategy.

Findings of the study: The results of the study indicate that the company should build a sustainability communication strategy upon larger underlying strategies, and engage in interaction with the other strategies; to translate the overall sustainability strategy to stakeholders and to inform the overall sustainability strategy of perceptions of the company among the stakeholders. The goal of strategic sustainability communication is to ensure the fulfilment of overall strategic objectives through influencing various stakeholder groups with different emphases. The results also indicate the importance of ensuring employee awareness of sustainability topics in order to increase commitment through identification, but also to prepare the personnel to act as an unofficial communication practitioner outside the company. The company should utilize face-to-face, adapted, and also endorsed sustainability communication with internal and external stakeholders, while bearing in mind the implications of locational and cultural differences.
Master's theses are stored at Learning Centre in Otaniemi.