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'Earth Day Every Day': 4 Tips for Successful Corporate Activism
'Earth Day Every Day': 4 Tips for Successful Corporate Activism

MARKETING AND COMMS - Companies have long run sustainability initiatives that exclude customers. To be fair, these companies have donated a percentage of profits to charities, volunteered employee time, reduced emissions, cleaned up supply chains, and much more. However, their customers have been on the sideline, sometimes aware but not personally engaged. Through corporate activism, brands can change this dynamic and make customers partners in their most meaningful sustainability initiatives. Here are some tips based on brands that have used it successfully.

#NewMetrics18: The ROI of Sustainability Strategy — and 6 Ways to Get There
#NewMetrics18: The ROI of Sustainability Strategy — and 6 Ways to Get There

NEW METRICS - Last week at Sustainable Brands’ New Metrics ’18 conference in Philadelphia, PA, over 300 delegates from brands, NGOs, strategists and practitioners across sectors gathered to share their latest tools and findings regarding measuring the risks and impacts of previously unmeasured forms of value, the newest credible tools and solutions for assessing the ROI of Sustainable Business.

To Market Sustainability, Focus on What Consumers Love, Not What They Hate
To Market Sustainability, Focus on What Consumers Love, Not What They Hate

MARKETING AND COMMS - Early marketing for products promising sustainability was all about what they “weren’t.” Tofurky wasn’t meat. Soy milk wasn’t dairy. Solar wasn’t coal. Positioning against the negative helped companies attract consumers who were revolting against the polluting impacts of standard manufacturing practices and products. But doing so ignored what potential customers still wanted, whether a product was sustainable or not: delicious taste, high performance, reliable quality and comfort, and overall satisfaction. Consider the ominous ads for the first Prius, which started running in 2001. The only virtue they extolled was fuel efficiency, and portrayed oil drills as monsters.

Urban Brand Utility: Impact Branding for the Urbanising Century
Urban Brand Utility: Impact Branding for the Urbanising Century

MARKETING AND COMMS - The brand communications crisis is not an urban legend, albeit just as scary Between 2001 and 2002, Brazil went through its largest energy crisis. The lack of infrastructure planning combined with economic growth forced the Government to ration the energy supply from its main urban centres, for intermittent periods of time. Back then, as a student living in São Paulo, I remember streets darkening as the sun went down. In one of those evenings, walking back home from university, two men driving a motorcycle stopped right in front of me. One of them jumped off the bike and before I knew it, he hit me on the head with the back of his gun and stole my backpack.

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World's First Search Engine for Clean Drinking Water Also Fights Plastic Bottle Pollution
World's First Search Engine for Clean Drinking Water Also Fights Plastic Bottle Pollution

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Consumers report that the prevailing reason why they buy bottled water is "convenience." Anyone can search online for the nearest gas station, coffee shop or nail salon, but when it comes to thirst, what options does one have? Open Google Maps and search “water fountain” — or ask Siri or Alexa, “Where can I fill up my water bottle?” No one has ever indexed the locations and prices of clean water around the world ... until now.

New Partnership Aims to Make Payments More Sustainable
New Partnership Aims to Make Payments More Sustainable

PRESS RELEASE - For many years, the idea of going green in payments has been limited to linking purchases and accounts with donations to environmental causes and carbon offsets. These programs have had an impact in terms of awareness and raising much-needed funds. Now, there’s an opportunity to put these efforts into action across a broader part of the payments industry. Today, Mastercard and card manufacturers Gemalto, Giesecke+Devrient and IDEMIA launched the Greener Payments Partnership to establish environmental best practices and reduce first-use PVC plastic in card manufacturing.

NRG Launches Renewable Select, Simplified Renewables without the PPA
NRG Launches Renewable Select, Simplified Renewables without the PPA

PRESS RELEASE - NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NRG) announces the availability of Renewable Select, simplifying the renewables procurement process and making it easier for businesses to choose renewable energy. The plan transforms the lengthy and complex traditional energy procurement process into a cost competitive, easy to execute transaction. Today’s customers demand renewable energy at grid parity to meet their fiscal requirements while achieving their sustainability goals. Renewable Select uniquely delivers to customers:

New Report, WRI Platform and … Wu-Tang Clan Make Case for Plant-Based Diets
New Report, WRI Platform and … Wu-Tang Clan Make Case for Plant-Based Diets

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - Meat-heavy diets have been under increased scrutiny of late, spawning a host of research and campaigns linking them to the accelerating impacts of climate change around the world. Now, a new report from the Changing Markets Foundation, Mighty Earth and Compassion in World Farming points the finger at governments, which they say are failing to tackle meat over-consumption to meet climate targets.

While McDonald's Burgers Get More Real, Chipotle Reminds Us It's Been 'Real' All Along
While McDonald's Burgers Get More Real, Chipotle Reminds Us It's Been 'Real' All Along

MARKETING AND COMMS - McDonald’s USA has announced that its seven classic burgers are now free from artificial preservatives, artificial flavors and added colors from artificial sources. The ingredient changes affect all 14,000 U.S. restaurants, marking this the next major milestone in McDonald’s food journey and another way the fast food giant aims to help customers feel good about its food.

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4 Steps to Building a Brand That Supports Smallholder Farmers
4 Steps to Building a Brand That Supports Smallholder Farmers

SUPPLY CHAIN - This summer, whilst working in Barbados, I got my hands on an old drum set and learnt how to play the classic four-on-the-floor disco beat. It felt great to (just about) crack something so quickly, partly because it makes a nice change from the day job — building ethical brands, which takes a lot longer than a couple of weeks.

Sixty South: How to Turn Sustainability into Business Growth
Sixty South: How to Turn Sustainability into Business Growth

WALKING THE TALK - Today’s consumers are increasingly concerned about the impact their purchasing decisions have on the planet. People want to know how products they buy affect social and environmental ecosystems, and are paying more money for and attention to healthy foods and consumer goods.

The Swoosh Heard 'Round the World
The Swoosh Heard 'Round the World

MARKETING AND COMMS - Taking a knee made Nike stand up. As brand activism becomes commonplace — even expected — it’s an optimal moment to unpack the factors that spur companies to stand up for something that matters.

Dairies Resuming Home Deliveries: A Sustainable – and Sustainability – Strategy?
Dairies Resuming Home Deliveries: A Sustainable – and Sustainability – Strategy?

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - The milkman is making a come back. In a dozen or so communities around the U.S., dairy trucks sporting happy cows and nostalgic farm scenes are showing up at doorsteps to drop off fresh milk, cream, butter and eggs. Is that a sustainable strategy? And what does it do to promote sustainability?

More Americans Staying Informed; Increasing Scrutiny of Business, Government
More Americans Staying Informed; Increasing Scrutiny of Business, Government

MARKETING AND COMMS - More and more Americans are seeking information about corporate social and environmental responsibility, particularly from news coverage, according to the ninth annual Sense & Sustainability® Study, released Wednesday by G&S Business Communications. The opinion poll was conducted online by YouGov for G&S in August 2018 among 2,659 U.S. adults.

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Survey: Americans Doubt Their Ability to Impact Climate Change, Look to Companies to Lead
Survey: Americans Doubt Their Ability to Impact Climate Change, Look to Companies to Lead

WALKING THE TALK - The majority of US citizens (62 percent) say they believe climate change is a problem but feel unempowered to address it, according to the 2018 Cone/Porter Novelli Climate Change Snapshot — instead, they are looking to companies to take the lead. Yet, even as individuals may feel personally powerless — less than four-in-10 (38 percent) feel their actions can make a real difference — they do see companies as critical players in progress against climate change. 58 percent say that in the absence of government progress, companies should take the lead.

On 30th Anniversary of 'Just Do It,' Nike Puts Kaepernick Where Its Mouth Is
On 30th Anniversary of 'Just Do It,' Nike Puts Kaepernick Where Its Mouth Is

MARKETING AND COMMS - Nike’s 30th anniversary edition of its iconic “Just Do It” campaign, released this week, features embattled football star Colin Kaepernick, in a move practically designed to stir up controversy — but which ultimately aligns perfectly with Nike’s ethos of living courageously.

Your Key to Positive Impact: The 4 Generations Principle
Your Key to Positive Impact: The 4 Generations Principle

MARKETING AND COMMS - Why are light switches in design hotels impossible to find? Why are our oceans drowning in plastic? How to find more satisfaction in your work? How to make your business a force of good? And how do we connect these seemingly unconnected questions? Let's see how a “4 generations principle” can contribute.

The Nestlé Family welcomes Terrafertil, A Natural Foods Company
The Nestlé Family welcomes Terrafertil, A Natural Foods Company

PRESS RELEASE - Nestlé today completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Terrafertil, a natural foods company and main global producer of goldenberries, following approval of relevant antitrust authorities. This investment is one of the latest examples of how Nestlé’s enhanced growth strategy harnesses the entrepreneurial spirit on which the company was founded 150 years ago. With this new investment, Nestlé is very well positioned to be the leader in the plant-food based segment in Zone Americas with the addition of the NATURE'S HEART and ESSENTIAL LIVING FOODS brands.

Shaw Launches Sound Advisor, Innovates with Acoustics Testing, Research and Education
Shaw Launches Sound Advisor, Innovates with Acoustics Testing, Research and Education

PRESS RELEASE - Shaw Industries Group, Inc. (Shaw) has introduced an innovative, patent-pending tool to showcase the impact ceiling and floor construction, as well as flooring and underlayment selection, have on room acoustics. Known as Sound Advisor, the web-based tool helps users make more informed design and interior product selection decisions.

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Reimagining Organizations as Brand Ecosystems
Reimagining Organizations as Brand Ecosystems

ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE - Who are you and why should I care? Since the 1950s, companies have turned to externally focused branding methods to answer these questions that consumers have about their businesses. Today, companies face an increasingly hyperconnected, skeptical marketplace where customers are demanding more. They want to know the substance beyond the sizzle of advertising. For branding to remain the economic engine it has been over the past 70 years, we need to ask: What’s next?

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