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Trending: Tricking People Into Making Healthier Choices
Trending: Tricking People Into Making Healthier Choices

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - A new cup will use aromas and a patented “sweet taste technology” to trick people who prefer sugary drinks into thinking they are drinking a fruit-flavored water. The Right Cup, designed to help people drink more water, will launch its crowdfunding campaign in a few weeks.

Report: Hotel ‘Greenwashing’ is Off-Putting to Customers
Report: Hotel ‘Greenwashing’ is Off-Putting to Customers

MARKETING AND COMMS - Greenwashing practices, combined with claims of corporate social responsibility, have reduced the trust of U.S. consumers who are increasingly recognizing hotels’ green claims may be self-serving, according to a new study in the Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, as reported by Eco-Business. All of this could cause hotels to lose valuable repeat customers.

Community Hiring: The Labour Market Advantage Is in Your Own Backyard
Community Hiring: The Labour Market Advantage Is in Your Own Backyard

ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE - The world’s most innovative leaders know that social businesses are more profitable businessesConsumers around the world, from Vancouver and Toronto to Shanghai and New York, believe that a company’s social role goes beyond simply meeting legal requirements, complying with ethical standards, creating jobs and paying taxes. Research shows that consumers everywhere expect companies to act as social leaders, using their business expertise to lead social change.

Nestlé Pure Life's 'Ripple Effect' Movement Encouraging Healthy Hydration Habits Among Kids
Nestlé Pure Life's 'Ripple Effect' Movement Encouraging Healthy Hydration Habits Among Kids

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - Nestlé’s Pure Life® Purified Water recently announced a new campaign dedicated to encouraging children to drink more water. A recent study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that a little more than half of all children and adolescents don’t get enough hydration. Although excessive dehydration — which is rare in the developed world — is associated with serious health problems, even mild dehydration can cause issues including headaches, irritability, poor physical performance and reduced cognitive functioning.1

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'Eco-Friendly,' 'Renewable,' 'Sustainable' - Are 'Green' Buzzwords Reaching, Influencing American Consumers?
'Eco-Friendly,' 'Renewable,' 'Sustainable' - Are 'Green' Buzzwords Reaching, Influencing American Consumers?

MARKETING AND COMMS - While new surveys are emerging left and right attempting to find the pulse of the ever-elusive consumer when it comes to sustainability, that stubborn attitude/behavior gap still persists. So, let’s take a few steps back … Does the growing proliferation of “green” jargon really reach a mass audience? Do these buzzwords and terms carry political baggage? Do consumers understand their meaning? And more importantly, do they stir up positive or negative feelings? Do people associate them with increased expense or better health?

Study: Millennials Are Strongest CSR Supporters in U.S.
Study: Millennials Are Strongest CSR Supporters in U.S.

MARKETING AND COMMS - Millennials are universally more engaged in corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts, according to new research from Cone Communications. This includes everything from buying products associated with a cause they care about to using their online networks to amplify social and environmental messages.The 2015 Cone Communications Millennial CSR Study reveals that more than nine-in-10 Millennials would switch brands to one associated with a cause (91% vs. 85% U.S. average) and two-thirds use social media to engage around CSR (66% vs. 53% U.S. average).

Consumers Want Environmental Info on Product Labels: Why Now Is the Time to Act
Consumers Want Environmental Info on Product Labels: Why Now Is the Time to Act

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Package labels that clearly detail food product ingredients have become the norm, thanks in large part to demand from consumers who want to be able to make informed decisions about their purchases. But what about other information related to sustainability and how product packaging is sourced?Current product labels do not offer a sufficient or clear explanation of sourcing and sustainability information. We need to recognize, across all industries, that the materials used to develop the packaging of a product is equally as important as the ingredients that go inside a product. Consumers are demanding greater transparency and it is the responsibility of all of us, including manufacturers, regulators and third-party groups, to fulfill this obligation.

Help FreshPaper Spread the Word About Its Food-Saving Potential to 100M Super Bowl Viewers
Help FreshPaper Spread the Word About Its Food-Saving Potential to 100M Super Bowl Viewers

WASTE NOT - Fenugreen, 2013’s SB Innovation Open winner and creator of the potentially game-changing food-saving innovation FreshPaper, is one of 10 startup finalists in contention for the most coveted of TV spots: a Super Bowl ad.

What Is the Payoff from Product Sustainability Investments?
What Is the Payoff from Product Sustainability Investments?

NEW METRICS - Those of us in the field may share a deep-seated belief that sustainability efforts across the product value chain pay clear dividends — but it’s nice to have proof.

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35K Californians Boycotting Produce Grown With Oil Wastewater
35K Californians Boycotting Produce Grown With Oil Wastewater

SUPPLY CHAIN - Over 35,600 people have signed a Courage Campaign pledge to boycott several popular California produce companies after news that they may be using contaminated oil industry wastewater to grow their crops.

Marketing for Social Change: How to Profitably Use Your Brand Power as a Force for Good
Marketing for Social Change: How to Profitably Use Your Brand Power as a Force for Good

MARKETING AND COMMS - Today the ethical consumer market hovers between 10 and 20 percent. These numbers haven’t moved much since the term was first popularized 25 years ago. Yet market researchers such as Edelman and Ipsos Reid tell us that more than 80 percent of Canadian consumers want companies to champion social causes, lead social change and stand for something. Companies that figure out how to tap into this latent demand for corporate social purpose stand to win big.

Study: Choice Architecture, Not More Info, Key to Healthier Purchasing Habits
Study: Choice Architecture, Not More Info, Key to Healthier Purchasing Habits

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - Recent studies suggest consumers are increasingly motivated to buy sustainable products, especially the rising generation of socially motivated millennials — that’s the headline in the sustainable business community. But we also know that it’s difficult to motivate consumers to act upon their best intentions. They may state their preference to buy organic, ethically produced products in the abstract, but their actual choice may be different at the point of purchase.

How Target Is Taking Sustainable Products Mainstream (and Working with Walmart)
How Target Is Taking Sustainable Products Mainstream (and Working with Walmart)

COLLABORATION - For years, the answer to the question “Do people really want to buy more sustainable products?” was a profound “sort of.” Surveys consistently show that we aspire to buy responsibly, and we even say we’ll pay more for environmental or socially preferable products. But purchase intent does not always translate to real sales, and companies have often struggled to make sustainable products more mainstream.

More Than 75% of Consumers Influenced By Eco-Friendly Packaging, Report Says
More Than 75% of Consumers Influenced By Eco-Friendly Packaging, Report Says

WASTE NOT - More than three-quarters of consumers claim that environmentally-sound packaging has​ an influence on the beverage brand they buy, according to ​a new global survey of some 6,000 consumers across 12 different countries.The survey, carried out this year for food processing and packaging solutions firm Tetra Pak, revealed a growing appetite among consumers for products that tick the right environmental boxes. When asked about recent purchasing habits, two-thirds said they have bought environmental products, even when they cost more, while around the same proportion have avoided specific brands or items due to environmental concerns.​​​​​​

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Sustainability, Virtuous Cycles and (Gasp!) Brand Self-Actualization
Sustainability, Virtuous Cycles and (Gasp!) Brand Self-Actualization

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - “Intrinsic growth of what is already in the organism, or more accurately of what is the organism itself ... self-actualization is growth-motivated rather than deficiency-motivated.” — Abraham MaslowConsumer expectations of sustainable business practices are higher now than ever before, with as much attention being paid to the way a company behaves as to what products or services it offers. And in our interconnected world, consumers are less tolerant of discrepancies between brand claims and news reports of unsustainable and unethical practices. The question “is this company a good corporate citizen?” is increasingly common in consumer decision-making.

Trending: Major Brands Adopting Bold Anti-Smoking Stances
Trending: Major Brands Adopting Bold Anti-Smoking Stances

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - While a shift in consumer attitudes away from smoking has been mounting for decades, major brands are now stepping up to do their part to extinguish the unhealthy habit.First, CVS Health Corporation resigned from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce last week, after exposing the Chamber’s involvement in lobbying campaigns against anti-smoking laws. CVS says selling cigarettes is antithetical to its strategy to become a healthcare destination.

Why Corporate Responsibility Has the Potential to Deliver Financial, Competitive Returns
Why Corporate Responsibility Has the Potential to Deliver Financial, Competitive Returns

NEW METRICS - I’ve been working in the Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility (CR) field for twenty years. In that time, skeptics have persistently challenged the discipline: Do corporate environmental, social, and governance practices drive or distract from tangible financial, competitive, and wider business performance?On the one hand, anyone who attended SB’15 in San Diego should celebrate the present as the best of times to answer this question. Eyes are opening – backed by rigorous assessment – on the financial and wider competitive potential of low-carbon innovations, circular economic and other breakthrough economic strategies, and base of the pyramid development.

How to Find Lasting Motivation and Engagement at Work
How to Find Lasting Motivation and Engagement at Work

ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE - Are you excited about your work? Is it a fulfilling endeavor that you’re proud to take part in and which you enjoy doing? Or is it more of a grind?A recent Gallup survey found that only 30 percent of US workers were “actively engaged and inspired at work,” while 50 percent weren’t engaged and the rest were actively disengaged. Work is just tolerable for half of us and a fifth of us are miserable. This is woeful. Are the bulk of us destined to spend our lives working in unfulfilling roles?

Let’s Talk About Love: People Finally Putting Their Money Where Their Hearts Are
Let’s Talk About Love: People Finally Putting Their Money Where Their Hearts Are

MARKETING AND COMMS - One of the a-has from our soon-to-be-released 2015 Eco Pulse study is that, indeed, a company’s sustainability or social responsibility commitment is a reason to love the brand. In fact, when we asked Americans, “Can you name a brand you love?” and then asked, “Why?” CSR reasons were almost as prevalent as core functionality or performance features.By the way, the brands listed as loved brands weren’t niche-y “green” brands - they were mainstream.

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How Big Data Can Enable a Transparent Marketplace for Consumer Goods
How Big Data Can Enable a Transparent Marketplace for Consumer Goods

CLEANTECH - Today we can access vast quantities of information from countless sources to help us make better decisions quickly.My cell phone can help me find a restaurant with the type of food I like, at a price I like, and with a customer satisfaction rating. I can get directions to the restaurant, including current traffic conditions. And if I don’t want to drive myself, Uber can take care of that.All of this is possible, yet when I go to my grocery store I’m still unclear as to what’s in the products I buy and where they came from.Is this can of soup lined with BPA? Are there GMOs in it? What’s the environmental impact of this product? Can I recycle it?

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