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Patagonia Promises 100% Traceable Down by 2014
Patagonia Promises 100% Traceable Down by 2014

MARKETING AND COMMS - It’s been a busy fall for Patagonia — the outdoor apparel company kicked off October with the launch of its “Responsible Economy” campaign, which challenges consumers and businesses to think more consciously about disposability and resource allocation, and ended the month by announcing its plans to offer Fair Trade Certified™ apparel, beginning in Fall 2014.

TOMS Shoes Creates Home for Imitators with New TOMS Marketplace
TOMS Shoes Creates Home for Imitators with New TOMS Marketplace

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - TOMS Shoes, which has helped provide shoes for children in need around the worldwide with its One for One® model, helped spearhead the burgeoning movement of social entrepreneurs creating similar business models based on addressing a problem while making a profit.But instead of admonishing or suing his growing contingent of imitators, TOMS founder and chief shoe giver Blake Mycoskie has applauded them, and now has taken his support one step further with the launch today of the new TOMS Marketplace.

Walk on the Wild In-side: How Social Intrapreneurs are Disrupting the System from Within
Walk on the Wild In-side: How Social Intrapreneurs are Disrupting the System from Within

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Lou Reed was a rock-n-roll pioneer. While he may not have achieved many solo hits, he accomplished what all sustainability professionals seek: He shifted the system. Brian Eno famously said, ‘The Velvet Underground may have sold only 10,000 records but everyone who bought one formed a band. In David Bowie, Reed had his biggest fan.’With his passing last month, stories about his contributions to music abound. The world of music loves to celebrate its pioneers. The disruptors. The misfits who took music to a new level.

Tesco Reveals Food Waste Figures, Plus Action Steps on How to Tackle It in Store and at Home
Tesco Reveals Food Waste Figures, Plus Action Steps on How to Tackle It in Store and at Home

WASTE NOT - Today, UK grocery retailer Tesco unveiled food waste figures for its operations and supply chain, alongside figures that show 68 percent of bagged salad in particular is wasted and that 35 percent of this waste occurs in the home.As a first step in reducing this waste, Tesco announced it will end multi-buys on large bags of salad and is developing mix-and-match promotions for smaller bags in a bid to help customers reduce the amount they are wasting at home.Bagged salad is just one of the 25 best-selling grocery products that Tesco has tracked from farm to fork to gain a detailed understanding of where food waste occurs. This is part of the grocer’s commitment to lead in tackling food waste and to work with suppliers and customers to address this.

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Nestlé on Its Way to Achieving Zero Waste in Europe by 2020
Nestlé on Its Way to Achieving Zero Waste in Europe by 2020

WASTE NOT - Nestlé today announced it will achieve zero waste in all 150 of its European factories by 2020, meaning no factory waste will go to landfill or be incinerated without energy being recovered from the process.“The decision to achieve zero waste illustrates Nestlé’s commitment to environmentally sustainable business practices,” said Laurent Freixe, Nestlé Executive Vice President and Zone Director for Europe. “We already have over 25 factories in Europe that do not dispose of waste into the environment.“By relentlessly eliminating all sources of waste, or by recycling or recovering energy from unavoidable residues, I am convinced we can achieve the same for all our European operations,” Freixe said.Cleaning up

Sustainable Brands® to Spotlight Product/Brand Innovation Driving Economic, Social and Environmental Benefit at London Conference
Sustainable Brands® to Spotlight Product/Brand Innovation Driving Economic, Social and Environmental Benefit at London Conference

PRESS RELEASE - SAN FRANCISCO, October 16, 2013 – Sustainable Brands® recently announced program details for its pan-European conference to be held at the Lancaster London, November 18-19th. The conference will bring together over 500 senior-level brand marketing strategists, product designers, business model innovators and sustainability executives to collaborate and explore how environmental and social innovation is becoming an engine for business growth and brand value.

Target Takes Important Step Toward Sustainable Product Standard
Target Takes Important Step Toward Sustainable Product Standard

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Target today announced an important step toward increasing product transparency, which the company says it hopes will lead to more sustainable and innovative products.

Bombas Socks' One-for-One Model Helping to Warm Feet — and Hearts
Bombas Socks' One-for-One Model Helping to Warm Feet — and Hearts

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - New York-based startup Bombas Socks is poised to revolutionize the sock industry while spreading its message of pushing yourself to “Bee Better.”Two years ago, after learning that socks are the more requested clothing item at homeless shelters, founders David Heath and Randy Goldberg decided to create a company based on the TOMS shoes plan: One for One.Not only did Heath and Goldberg plan that for every pair of socks sold, they would donate one to a person in need, they knew that they needed to create the perfect sock. With all the new designs in the apparel industry in the past couple of decades, socks have pretty much stayed the same; they are more or less an afterthought. Heath and Goldberg worked to create a sock to “look better, feel better and perform better.”

Life Technologies Tops Life Sciences Sector of Dow Jones 2013 Sustainability Index
Life Technologies Tops Life Sciences Sector of Dow Jones 2013 Sustainability Index

PRESS RELEASE - Life Technologies Tops Life Sciences Sector of Dow Jones 2013 Sustainability Index Company's sustainability record ranks among top 10 percent of large companies worldwide

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Do One Thing: Lessons in Driving Employee Engagement
Do One Thing: Lessons in Driving Employee Engagement

ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE - At Saatchi & Saatchi S we believe that employees are not only the heart and soul of a company, they are a company’s greatest asset in propelling and achieving its sustainability vision. At its most inspirational, employee engagement is also about magnifying the power of individual actions to effect large-scale change.

Starbucks Pledges to Not Cut Workers’ Benefits Under Obamacare
Starbucks Pledges to Not Cut Workers’ Benefits Under Obamacare

MARKETING AND COMMS - Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz told Reuters this week the company will not cut hours or benefits for employees — referred to as "partners" — in response to Obamacare.While many other large companies in the food service sector have said they will need to shift costs onto their workers in anticipation of upcoming changes under the health law, Starbucks says it will not follow suit.“Other companies have announced that they won’t provide coverage for spouses; others are lobbying for the cut-off to be at 40 hours,” Shultz said. “But Starbucks will continue maintaining benefits for partners and won’t use the new law as an excuse to cut benefits or lower benefits for its workers.”

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.

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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.

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.”

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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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