Winners 2023

Best corporate website
Rio Tinto
Agency: 303

Five months after Rio Tinto relaunched its corporate website, the FTSE 100 global mining company entered a period of reputational crisis. It had allowed the destruction of culturally significant rock shelters at Juukan Gorge in Western Australia, which breached the trust of stakeholders. A report released later by Rio Tinto highlighted the failures within its corporate culture.

Complete transparency was needed if Rio Tinto was to rebuild trust, which started with a major overhaul of the company’s corporate values, purpose and brand in support. Its website would play an integral part in this, but how would it be possible to translate cultural transformation into an engaging user experience?

To coincide with Rio Tinto’s 150th anniversary in March 2023, it embarked on a major relaunch of its website to bring it in line with the evolved brand. The new site, which was to be open and honest, would have updated functionality and new tools for its two million plus visitors per year.

It was designed to reflect the new brand, being modern, inclusive and reflective of Rio Tinto’s new purpose: finding better ways to provide the materials the world needs. Its colour palette also echoed the organic nature of Rio’s mining operations through earth tones.

Corporate websites have six main stakeholder audiences: job seekers, investors, employees, media, NGOs and civil society organisations. From a functional perspective, the developers considered the needs of each audience and looked at how their individual experiences could improve. Consumer-focused, sales-driven websites provided inspiration, leading to content being streamlined, pages being stripped out, and the introduction of simplified document listings.

The anniversary also provided an opportunity to explore its history, to draw lessons from the 150 years and to look to the future, focusing on sustainability and Rio Tinto’s contribution to the global energy transition.

A new We Are 150 section features an immersive interactive timeline, emphasising the importance Rio Tinto has put on making its past more accessible, which has led to an 128 per cent increase in traffic.

A new Trending Topics section highlights key issues for the company, and offers detailed information. It tackles criticism and issues head-on, such as Rio Tinto’s position on deep sea mining, ensuring that the company becomes the authoritative source on all issues.

All reports have also been grouped into one easy-to-navigate section, with more information available and the inclusion of more back-dated reports and disclosures. This section also allows a more intuitive grouping of the vast swathes of regulatory documents, in a variety of languages, that Rio Tinto is obliged to publish.

It also offers visitors the option to add documents to a basket, allowing them to build up the basket through a browsing session and download all at once. Rio Tinto describes it as a ‘deceptively complex innovation that is essential to a company with a lot of information, that is trying to be transparent’. Since its introduction, visits to the financial results pages have risen by 64 per cent.

The judges felt this entry fulfilled its brief and went beyond a standard corporate website in its attempt to be more transparent and build trust.