Inderscience Publishers

Sustainability practices and promotion: websites of large US companies

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This paper presents the results of a longitudinal survey of the websites of Standard and Poor's (S&P) 500 companies. Using impression management theory and ten organisational categories uncovered in prior research, we find that S&P 500 companies are increasing environmental sustainability efforts and have significantly promoted these efforts via their websites. There are dramatic differences among industries. Certain findings suggest that large companies are using their websites as impression management tools in order to attract and maintain a profitable customer base. The study establishes a baseline from which future measurements can be taken to assess the continued progress of large companies in incorporating and promoting sustainability. The study offers guidelines to managers for creating a web presence that emphasises environmental sustainability practices consistent with other companies in their own industries.

Keywords: impression management, sustainability, web presence, S&P 500 companies, environmental issues, sustainable development, company websites, corporate websites

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