Advancing Snap’s ESG report and Code of Conduct via visual communication

Snap Inc.

While Snap Inc. might be best known for its ephemeral messaging, what has remained constant throughout its meteoric growth is a commitment to kindness. The company leverages its platform to empower a global community that spreads knowledge, participates in democracy, and celebrates the present moment through self expression.

In 2020, we partnered with Snap on two projects: the first to help communicate its ESG story through strong visual communication in the 2021 CitizenSnap Report, and the second to evolve the company’s Code of Conduct through improved visual storytelling.

The challenge

CitizenSnap Report

After launching its inaugural web-based CitizenSnap report in 2020, Snap wanted to uplevel its next report by creating a highly designed, story-driven PDF report aligned to GRI and SASB standards. With Snap in the early stages of its ESG journey as a young company, conveying the company’s ESG information through innovative and engaging visual design was paramount. The company’s target audience, investors, typically don’t read ESG reports cover-to-cover — they skim them for pertinent information. This means that the way the ESG information is visualized is as important as the data itself. Meanwhile, we had to develop an ESG brand that was in-line with Snap’s unique corporate identity.

Code of Conduct

Snap wanted its Code of Conduct to complement its ESG report by laying an ethical foundation that reflected not just its commitment to prevent misconduct, but also its commitment to positive social impact.  While these documents tend to be leaden with legalese and long lists of “what-not-to-dos,” Snap’s Code is based on its core value of being kind – using empathy and courage to instill trust with all of its stakeholders. Our challenge involved transforming a dry, jargon-heavy, compliance-centered legal document to a living, breathing and engaging document aimed to educate and inspire.

Our solution

CitizenSnap Report

At thinkPARALLAX, design is not an afterthought in ESG report production. How a company visualizes ESG information is critical for determining if and how it is consumed and interpreted by investors, customers, employees, and other stakeholders. For the CitizenSnap report, we provided strategic recommendations for report content and layout, and chose imagery and design elements to complement the stories featured in the report. We focused on making the design context-dependent, imbuing the report with authenticity by offering different levels of perspective — from employees, customers, and executive leadership. We also integrated Snap’s ESG strategy into the visual storytelling by organizing the report design according to Snap’s four ESG pillars: Society, Planet, People, and Governance.

Code of Conduct

We brought a similar design approach to Snap’s Code of Conduct By highlighting the human elements of Snap’s Code and ethics, we were able to turn it into a fun and engaging document.  We integrated real photos of employees working in action, adding visual context to the language of the document. We also integrated branded visual elements like company photos, emojis, and stickers to imbue the Code with Snap’s brand DNA.

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Key outcomes

Helped Snap create its 2nd ESG report, but first PDF report informed by GRI and SASB standards, aligned with major reporting standards to better engage investors and other stakeholders.

Worked with Snap to reimagine the purpose of a Code of Conduct to inspire employees and external stakeholders alike, and integrate with its ESG strategy.

“What I appreciate the most about the thinkPARALLAX approach to ESG reporting is that visual design is a core component and not an afterthought. Their team of strategists and designers helped us visualize ESG information in our CitizenSnap report in a way which was engaging, inspiring, informative, and on-brand.”

Emily Barton
Head of Environmental Programs & Sustainability, Snap, Inc.