Changjiang Liuyu Ziyuan Yu Huanjing/Resources and Environment in the Yangtze Valley

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Abstract : Sustainability communication is a growing area both from practical and theoretical perspectives. In this paper, in order to conceptualize how sustainability communication should be evaluated, we conducted a qualitative meta-analysis of journal articles written in English that contain the terms “sustainability communication(s),” sustainable communication(s),” “communicating sustainability,” or “sustainability reporting” in titles, abstracts, and/or keywords to examine their methodologies in conceptualizing and operationalizing the evaluations of sustainability communications so that we could identify any limitations and gaps and propose new directions for future evaluations. We found that most studies that evaluated sustainability communications focused on the content and processes, while there has been limited research on assessments of sustainability communication outcomes in relation to the intended goals of the communication agent. In communications, it is widely held that communication management must be driven towards and by measurability and transparent evaluation. Hence when we evaluate sustainability communications, it is essential to acknowledge that while all sustainability communications have sustainability-related content, not all are intended for achieving sustainability-related impacts. This paper suggests that the effectiveness of sustainability communications should be evaluated based on the intended goals of the communication agent instead of measuring the variables related to the processes and channels of communication, or the impact on sustainable development itself.