Corporate Eye

Eni : A Leader in CSR Websites

It’s not often I look at websites outside the UK … partially because it’s always difficult to mash CSR language through a translator, and partially because Corporate Eye’s core market is UK based.

However the Italian oil and gas supplier Eni has caught my eye several times.  Their online reputation is, quite simply, massive.

Other Corporate Eye bloggers have written enthusiastically about their Corporate Governance and Investor Relations and the company’s CSR site regularly wins plaudits from Lundquist, an Italian website benchmark consultancy along the same lines as Corporate Eye.

Now the website has also come second in Lundquist’s online branding analysis for Italian companies (Pirelli came first).

So what is it about the six-legged, fire-breathing dog which makes them such a colossus in the online world, and why is their CSR site in particular such a hit?

Four Top Tips For CSR Websites

The answer, without putting too fine a point on it, is that the site is brilliant.

First of all it makes the best possible use of technology without being heavy-handed about it.  The default display is a Flash animation but there’s a tab at the top for those who prefer a “Classic Version”.  This Flash is light and loads quickly, something I cannot say about some other technology-heavy CSR sites I’ve come across.

Second, it gives you everything you want on a plate.  The left hand column (on both Flash and “classic” sites) has 17 links to various aspects of sustainability, each of which expands to include many other subsections.  These cover items such as Stakeholder Relations (six subsections), Ethics and Governance (four subsections) and Links, Publications, Events (no subsections, but a tab for each is displayed).

Third, there is a real sense of a commitment to transparency. As I’ve said many times, transparency is a key CSR item and the more open a company is the more sustainable it will be.  It’s about more than confidence: it’s about honesty.

This is best highlighted through the publication of the email addresses of three key contact points: the Sustainability Manager, the Stakeholder and Community Relations manager, and the Professional Community manager.

Which leads to the fourth reason it’s such a good website.  The level of thought and understanding which has gone into the site’s design and presentation is outstanding.  It can be easy, almost lazy, to classify sustainability content into the stovepipes of employees, emissions and customers.  It’s something else to really think about the effect the company has on the wider community and to address it.  This is what Eni appears to do.

And finally, I have to say that both the Flash and “Classic” view are superbly designed visually.  It’s difficult to put your finger on this: the stylesheet is clean and the presentation immaculate. But it works, and it works very well indeed.

Conclusion

There are no flies I can find in the ointment of Eni’s CSR website.  I had thought there was a valid criticism because no firm figures or KPIs are published in most of the sections, but then I found their interactive KPI charts and .. well, no problem there either.

And once again, Eni have somehow got the technology and presentation right.  It’s technically light, so the graphs load very quickly, and it’s visually easy meaning the colours and presentation make it easy to see and absorb the information presented.

Heck, if you want a CSR website to copy, I’d say this is it.  There are always the petty things, but if you want to be technically inclusive, wholly transparent and leading CSR website, then you could do no better than look at Eni’s website and ask “well, why don’t we do that?”

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A former CTO, Chris has a broad and varied background. He’s been involved with blue chips, consultancies & SMEs across a wide variety of sectors and has worked in Europe, the Middle East and Australia. In 2007 he decided to combine his knowledge of business and IT with his passion for all things sustainable and has been busy writing ever since. However, his greatest ambition remains to brew the perfect cup of coffee.
 
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