You are on page 1of 3

Sustainability and Social Media: Is It A Natural?

By Isabelle Poirier
©May 2008

Ten years from now, the Web 2.0 era will be seen as the turning point of our
communication culture and collective intelligence paradigms. Business development and
growth built upon collaboration, partnership, transparency and interaction will be seen as
the buzzwords that best describes the decade.

This blog questions the willingness of actual industry leaders to embrace the 2.0 culture
to look at corporate social responsibility and sustainable development in a different way.

Source: E&B DATA / Intelegia

Intel is the only company of these top leaders that has a CSR blog and demonstrates that
CSR or SD engagements can be discussed and can evolve within a Web 2.0 culture.

Some might think that discussing about environmental externalities and community
wealth is easier for an IT player than it is for a natural resource or heavy industrial player.
Other might think that it is just a question of time.

Countries that can guarantee energy availability, political stability and access to natural
resources are magnets for capital investments and growth. However, communities won’t
keep quiet if they believe it’s not worth it. Blogs and social networks tools are the new
natural channels to discuss openly about externalities linked to industrial and economic
development. Ten years ago, discussion groups were often the blind spots for large
corporations. Blogs have replaced them. An example of this new reality is how LNG
(Liquefied natural gas) terminal projects can be challenged by stakeholders and how
blogs are platforms to voice their preoccupation. The Tara Foundation uses its blog to
bring local concerns to the public domain.

“Residents fear Kerry LNG gas terminal will threaten their homes”

Up to 50 people living directly adjacent to the landbank between Tarbert and

Ballylongford came together at a public meeting in Tarbert on Thursday night, where
they presented their issues to two representatives of the Shannon LNG company, which is
behind the proposed gas terminal.

It is expected that a residents group in Tarbert, Count Kerry, will lodge a detailed
objection to An Bord Pleanála outlining their fears over the proposed LNG terminal. If
their objections are upheld and planning permission is refused, it could sound the death
knell for the multi-million euro project that is expected to create 650 jobs during
construction and 50 jobs when the plant is up and running”

Could industry leaders, assessing risk and forgetting to take into consideration
community’s and stakeholders’ capabilities to team up virtually to discuss and evaluate
their value proposition be at risk?

Originally Published: May 2008. If you wish to have the 2009 results of this
benchmark exercise, visit Intelegia’s blog, Tools For Thought,
About The Author:

Isabelle Poirier holds a Master’s degree in Communications from Université du Québec à

Montréal and has completed the Advanced Management program at McGill University.

She is a founding member of INTELEGIA (, a division of Montreal-

based E&B DATA ( Isabelle oversees the development of new products and
services of the firm. She assists organizations to embrace innovative communication
strategies with cutting edge and simple-to-manage information technologies. With these
applications, clients are prepared to face new outreach opportunities to focus on
marketing, communication and public relations initiatives.

For more information on E&B DATA’s and Intelegia’s services, call Isabelle at +1
(514) 276-1700 Ext. 104.