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Climate risk management and communications already suffer from greenwashing, greenhushing, questionable data and new risk of regulatory enforcement. As if it couldn’t get worse, Business Insider reports this:

“In an online survey, Americans named Leonardo DiCaprio the most trustworthy famous authority on climate change and other environmental issues. The National Research Group, a Hollywood consultancy, conducted the poll of about 1,500 US residents in June.

… DiCaprio was the top answer, followed by the climate activist Greta Thunberg, former Vice President Al Gore, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, and President Joe Biden… 

‘I think that really speaks to how in an era of strong political polarization, celebrities are one of the few unifying forces in American culture,’ Fergus Navaratnam-Blair, the research director of the National Research Group’s global marketing team, told Insider.”

Does this mean companies should consider hiring celebrity spokespeople – specifically Leo – for your ESG or climate reporting? Probably not, but these survey results – combined with the need to be clear about the execution of corporate ESG programs – could be catalysts for rethinking how you communicate externally – especially to consumers/the public. As far as whether “celebrities are one of the few unifying forces in American culture” – no comment.

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The Editor

Lawrence Heim has been practicing in the field of ESG management for almost 40 years. He began his career as a legal assistant in the Environmental Practice of Vinson & Elkins working for a partner who is nationally recognized and an adjunct professor of environmental law at the University of Texas Law School. He moved into technical environmental consulting with ENSR Consulting & Engineering at the height of environmental regulatory development, working across a range of disciplines. He was one… View Profile