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Four World-Changing Examples of NGO-Brand Partnerships
Four World-Changing Examples of NGO-Brand Partnerships

COLLABORATION - Do you feel that once you’ve met one environmentalist, you’ve met them all … and that each of them comes with a banner in their backpack? If so, and if that’s stopping you from collaborating with them, you’re likely missing out on an opportunity that could help your company gain an important competitive edge. Partnering with environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) can, at the very least, buffer your brand against the perception of “greenwashing” or potentially even spark the development of breakthrough products and systems that revolutionize your business or even your sector.

Six Ways to Make Brand Sustainability Resonate with Consumers
Six Ways to Make Brand Sustainability Resonate with Consumers

MARKETING AND COMMS - Climate change. Resource scarcity. Pollution. Human rights. These are some of the most pressing issues facing business today. They are also some of the most difficult for consumers to relate to, let alone orient their lives around.According to a recent report from The World Economic Forum and Accenture, sustainability is in desperate need of a makeover. Despite millions of dollars spent marketing the concept over the past decade, only 28% of people know what terms such as “sustainable,” “responsible,” “eco friendly” and “green” really mean, and just 44% say they trust green claims coming from big brands.

Why Green Product Brands Fail
Why Green Product Brands Fail

MARKETING AND COMMS - The Guardian recently published an excellent article on "Why Green Brands Are Failing to Capture Public Attention:"The answer is that environmental/social consciousness is only one part of what are much broader and more complex cultural shifts. Picking out this trend in isolation and trying to build brands around it using traditional marketing paradigms has a very low likelihood of success.

Customer Behavior Change: The Holy Grail of Conscious Brands
Customer Behavior Change: The Holy Grail of Conscious Brands

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - “If we can’t get the consumer involved, we will always be behind the curve,” Marks & Spencer CEO Marc Bolland said when he launched the retailer’s ‘Plan A’ sustainability stakeholder consultation.The logic is compelling. Changing customer behavior is a natural part of the sustainable business strategies businesses must create to achieve long-term success. And instead of being seen as an extension of CSR strategies they will be seen more as Long-Term Marketing strategies that are creating the company’s preferred future operating environment.

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Opposites Attract: Five Branding Lessons PrintEco Learned from Our Partnership with Domtar
Opposites Attract: Five Branding Lessons PrintEco Learned from Our Partnership with Domtar

COLLABORATION - Domtar Corporation is one of the largest and most innovative paper companies in the world. Our company, PrintEco, is a two-year-old software startup with a mission to help save paper and ink and protect the environment. So when we announced our partnership with Domtar at SB ’13 in June, a lot of our friends were like, “Congratulations! Wait ... a paper company?” Admittedly, we’re a bit of an odd couple — but working with Domtar has taught us a lot about branding and about sustainable business in general.

The Rise of the Scratch Card Brand
The Rise of the Scratch Card Brand

MARKETING AND COMMS - We're living in The Age of Scratch Card Brands — social networks have closed the gap between brands and the businesses that deliver them to the extent that businesses now sit immediately beneath their brands. Social networks have rendered the factory and boardroom walls in glass — a rude employee or a river foaming with effluent can be captured on a phone camera instantly, be on YouTube in seconds and viewed by millions shortly after. Potential health and safety violations tolerated by out-of-sight factory workers are no longer out of mind to the consumer activist buying the brand promise four thousand miles away.

Obsession Over 'Natural' Aside, Burt's Bees a Rightful Leader in the Personal Care Industry
Obsession Over 'Natural' Aside, Burt's Bees a Rightful Leader in the Personal Care Industry

MARKETING AND COMMS - Burt’s Bees is an incredible American success story. Roxanne Quimby’s venture into beeswax candles took her from New England craft fairs to lip balm and personal care products sold in thousands of drugstores across the United States, before she eventually sold her company to Clorox for $913 million in 2007. That acquisition has been one within a recent trend of large food and consumer packaged goods companies buying smaller ones for more “natural” or healthful products: Colgate-Palmolive owns Tom’s of Maine; Coca-Cola snapped up Honest Tea; Kraft has long owned Boca Burgers.

Webinar: Making the Business Case for Sustainability
Webinar: Making the Business Case for Sustainability

PRESS RELEASE - KNOXVILLE, Tenn., August 13, 2013 – Shelton Group, the nation’s leading marketing communications firm entirely focused in the sustainability and energy efficiency sectors, announced today that its next webinar will focus on sustainability as both an offensive and defensive business strategy. “Our Eco Pulse™ 2013 survey found that 48 percent of Americans say a company’s environmental reputation is important to their purchase decisions,” said Suzanne Shelton, CEO and founder of Shelton Group. “To that end, telling your company’s corporate sustainability story has both risks and benefits, and without understanding those fully, you might not be able to make the right decisions about allocating your resources.”

Wilsonart’s Fletcher Distribution Center Moves Closer Toward Zero Waste to Landfill Goal
Wilsonart’s Fletcher Distribution Center Moves Closer Toward Zero Waste to Landfill Goal

PRESS RELEASE - TEMPLE, TX (July 30, 2013) – Zero landfill contribution is a daunting sustainability goal, but with its Fletcher Distribution Center also leading the way, Wilsonart is making strides in its waste reduction movement. In just three months, the distribution center went from producing 2,000 pounds of landfill waste per week to less than 150 pounds through greater efforts to recycle, compost and repurpose materials. Wilsonart’s Fletcher Distribution Center is on track to produce less than 500 pounds of landfill waste per month, a reduction of more than 90 percent.

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Dell Announces Social, Environmental Achievements as Part of 'Powering the Possible'
Dell Announces Social, Environmental Achievements as Part of 'Powering the Possible'

WASTE NOT - Dell has announced key corporate responsibility achievements, such as collecting one billion pounds of electronic waste a year earlier than planned, with the release of its Fiscal Year 2013 (FY13) Corporate Responsibility Summary Report.The report outlines Dell’s environmental progress and efforts to support communities globally to achieve its sustainability goals, which are based on its Powering the Possible platform, a commitment to put technology and expertise to work where it can do the most good for people and the planet.The strategy focuses on four primary areas: Environment

Big, Bold, Creative ... and Normal: How Brands Can Shift Sustainability Into the Mainstream
Big, Bold, Creative ... and Normal: How Brands Can Shift Sustainability Into the Mainstream

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - Bob Dylan understood the sustainability challenge long ago when he sang, “People seldom do what they believe in / They do what is convenient, then repent” in “Brownsville Girl.”For sustainability to become mainstream, we need to reframe the debate — in terms of both language and relevant benefits. I believe mass-market and well-loved brands are best placed to drive and accomplish this critical shift.So do we just need to leverage brands to make people care about the environment?

Unilever's 'Green Express' Train Is Latest Way to Cut Its Supply Chain Footprint
Unilever's 'Green Express' Train Is Latest Way to Cut Its Supply Chain Footprint

SUPPLY CHAIN - Unilever has launched a new rail service in Italy called Green Express, as part of a wider eco-efficiency programme within its supply chain to support the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan.The service delivers Unilever’s Algida brand ice cream from its factory near Naples, 700km to the logistics hub in Parma.The direct connection, linking three lines, means that 3,500 trucks will be taken off the road each year, saving 40 million mega-joules of energy per year.

Mondelez International Helping 1,500 Vietnamese Coffee Farmers Become Sustainable Entrepreneurs
Mondelez International Helping 1,500 Vietnamese Coffee Farmers Become Sustainable Entrepreneurs

SUPPLY CHAIN - Global food and beverage giant Mondelez International has unveiled a new training facility for coffee farmers to promote sustainability and entrepreneurship in Vietnam. The company says this is a major step toward implementing its "Coffee Made Happy" sustainability program, which commits to investing at least $200 million to help one million coffee farming entrepreneurs by 2020.

Round-Up #1: What Can My Brand Take Away From This Issue in Focus?
Round-Up #1: What Can My Brand Take Away From This Issue in Focus?

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - Our Issue in Focus on Driving Behaviour Change kicked off in style this month with articles exploring why, how and what brands can do to create behaviour change for a better world. Here is the first of two round-ups of the content from Forum for the Future. We’ll draw out the tips and questions your brand can take away and act on to help you unleash some magic to create meaningful change.

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Consumers Believe Brands Can Have Positive Impact but Are Failing to Do So
Consumers Believe Brands Can Have Positive Impact but Are Failing to Do So

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - For all the talk about how important brands are in people's lives, the evidence points firmly in the other direction.

Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz Launch 'B Team' to Foster Sustainable Business
Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz Launch 'B Team' to Foster Sustainable Business

LEADERSHIP - Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson and PUMA Chairman Jochen Zeitz have launched a new non-profit call “The B Team,” which aims to deliver a new way of doing business that prioritizes people and planet alongside profit — a "Plan B" for businesses the world over.

Are We at the Dawn of a Refill Revolution?
Are We at the Dawn of a Refill Revolution?

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Over the past 10 years we’ve seen a recurring ambition from clients — wanting to ‘do a Nespresso.’ This is because it’s a refill system that premiumised their brand, redefined their category, elevated user experience, drove consumption and built brand loyalty whilst delivering profitable growth.

SB '13 Day Four Speakers, Debates, Ads and Songs Exemplify Successful Sustainability Communications
SB '13 Day Four Speakers, Debates, Ads and Songs Exemplify Successful Sustainability Communications

MARKETING AND COMMS - Thursday, the morning of the fourth and final day of SB ‘13, continued the week’s momentum and lived up to its “Communications” theme with a variety of rousing speakers and conversations, peppered with examples of clever and successful sustainability messaging from some of our top brands that focus on “selling behavior, not selling stuff.”

Starbucks Is in a Unique Position To Push Consumers To Waste Less. Will It?
Starbucks Is in a Unique Position To Push Consumers To Waste Less. Will It?

WASTE NOT - Starbucks is one of America’s most iconic brands for many reasons. The company transformed coffee culture and taught U.S. consumers to appreciate better coffee beans and traditional coffee beverages long on the menu in Europe.

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Sustainability: Understand, Adapt, Then Signal
Sustainability: Understand, Adapt, Then Signal

MARKETING AND COMMS - Engagement with sustainability offers many perks to a company: It improves brand reputation, it helps raise prices, it maintains one’s position in the market long term and it can open doors to better investment packages. Signals are one way that companies communicate that sustainability is vital to their corporate strategy and brand development.

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