The importance of having your the Equity Performance Certificate™

Jun 11 2024

Dan Drury Introducing the Equity Performance Certificate™ ahead of the EACD 2024 Annual conference, May 27-28 / Brussels

Discover how to enhance your brand’s digital inclusivity and compliance with the Equity Performance Certificate. Learn about the pressing need for accessible, sustainable, and private web experiences, the challenges organizations face, and the benefits of taking control of your digital channels.

Elevate your ESG and DEI commitments today.

00.00 Commitment to Digital Inclusion and Accessibility 00.52 Challenges of Fast Content Delivery and Accessibility Compliance 02.37 Introduction to the Equity Performance Certificate and Its Components 03.51 Accessibility Issues and Common Barriers in Organizations 04.50 Importance of Digital Inclusivity, SEO, and AI in Brand Consistency

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00m00s

Your organizations have made firm commitments to ESG and DEI targets. Digital inclusion is one of those commitments falling under SDGs 4, 8 and 10.

Digital inclusion means ensuring that all visitors can use and enjoy your digital channels.

“20% of the world’s population has a disability”, says Sarah Herrlinger, Apple’s senior director of Global Accessibility Policy & Initiatives. Accessibility is “not about compliance; it’s about customisation” for a huge - and growing - audience.

And it is not only about disability - think of an aging population that values assistive technologies to get the best out of your website.

You’re either slamming the door in their face or making it harder than it needs to be to benefit from your digital channels.

00m52s

Organizations everywhere face a pressing need to deliver better content, faster.

Content is being published, and consumed, faster than ever. Organisations know that this content should be compliant and accessible as well as on brand. But the need for speed means that corners get cut and accessibility, carbon footprint and privacy get overlooked as a crucial deadline approaches.

Publishing is often devolved to agencies, country site owners and brand site owners. Accessibility is often mandated but not backed up with sufficient budget and time allowance. In the race to publish faster control has been lost over commitments and compliance.

Over the past few years, fuelled by covid, digital channels have proliferated. Most organisations don’t know their true digital footprint. It often includes a raft of old, but not decommissioned, websites that increase your risk exposure and cause brand damage.

Are you undermining your ESG and DEI messages by publishing your claims on a website that fails to meet your own commitments and legal requirements?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) states that websites and mobile apps must be accessible.

Similarly, Europe is on track with its own initiatives, as the European Accessibility Act (EAA) is set to become law across all EU member states by June 2025.

500 CEOs and their companies have put disability inclusion on the leadership agenda and made a commitment to action. The Valuable 500 are actively campaigning on inclusive representation..

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2m37s

The Equity Performance Certificate measures how well organizations respect their website visitors in terms of an accessible, sustainable and private experience.

Accessible and Private because it’s the law. Sustainable because it’s the right thing to do and brings other benefits

The Equity Performance Certificate is made up of 3 factors:

The Environmental impact, or carbon footprint, of your website The Social requirement for inclusive digital experiences And Governance in the form of privacy

Considering the carbon footprint of digital channels is relatively new. Organisations generally score badly due to lack of constraints with bandwidth and storage.

Privacy scores are usually better than for carbon and accessibility. Why? Because of GDPR. The law forced all websites to implement cookie consent. As a result everyone upped their game.

Accessibility is back on the board agenda. As with GDPR, The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and European Accessibility Act (EAA) will eventually force compliance. So now is a good time to get started.

3m51s

Let’s focus on accessibility. For most of you this will already have been mandated. So why is the average grade for EACD delegate websites a D?

Insufficient funds - budgets get squeezed Insufficient time - that publish faster mentality Massive backlog - caused by years of poor practice Devolved governance And a plethora of technology tools, consultants and technical standards

But nothing that helps the senior leadership team get an independent, consistent view across the organisations digital channels.

The market is awash with sticking plaster solutions like accessibility panels that add assistive technology to your website. But most of these features are already built into the users operating system and website visitors with disabilities already know to use these tools. Compliance is not a one and done project and shortcuts are not going to work longer term.

04m10s

As you will hear at this EACD Summit the rise of misinformation and disinformation means that controlling your message on digital channels is more important than ever. There are further benefits:

You can widen your audience by practicing good digital inclusivity.

Accessible carbon efficient websites will rank more highly in search engines.

Artificial Intelligence will be absorbing your website content into their Large Language Models. Well structured , accessible content will help ensure that the AI is absorbing what you want it to.

It’s time to take control of your brand promises and make sure they are consistently applied across your web estate. This needs to be part of your digital transformation programme. It’s an opportunity to prepare for the future.

The EACD report summarises the findings but it is anonymous. If you want to find out your EPC grade fill out the form.

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