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SolarCity and DIRECTV Make Solar Power More Accessible and Affordable to Homeowners Across the Country
SolarCity and DIRECTV Make Solar Power More Accessible and Affordable to Homeowners Across the Country

PRESS RELEASE - Companies announce first-of-its-kind program at DIRECTV facility, launch special deal for solar customers this weekLONG BEACH, Calif.

Proxy Preview 2015 Examines Record-Breaking Number of Sustainability-Related Shareholder Resolutions
Proxy Preview 2015 Examines Record-Breaking Number of Sustainability-Related Shareholder Resolutions

MARKETING AND COMMS - This month, shareholder advocacy organization As You Sow released its 10th annual Proxy Preview report, detailing the record-breaking 433 social and environmental shareholder resolutions filed so far this proxy season, with political spending and climate change driving most of the activity.

Hershey Named as One of the World's Most Ethical Companies
Hershey Named as One of the World's Most Ethical Companies

PRESS RELEASE - HERSHEY, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) announced today that it has been recognized as a 2015 World’s Most Ethical Company® by the Ethisphere Institute.

Eastman Named as a World’s Most Ethical Company by the Ethisphere Institute for the Second Year in a Row
Eastman Named as a World’s Most Ethical Company by the Ethisphere Institute for the Second Year in a Row

PRESS RELEASE - Kingsport, TENN., March 9, 2015 – Eastman Chemical Company (NYSE:EMN) announced today that it has been recognized by the Ethisphere Institute as a 2015 World’s Most Ethical Company® for its efforts to continually raise the bar on ethical leadership and corporate behavior.

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What Makes a Board Fit for the Future?
What Makes a Board Fit for the Future?

NEW METRICS - Any regular follower of SB knows that most companies must transform their business models if they are to start helping - rather than hindering - society's transition to a sustainable future; and this year will only see expectations grow, with the launch of the SDGs.

Conscious Alliance Launches Program with Plum Organics, Justin's, Suja Juice to Feed Hungry Kids
Conscious Alliance Launches Program with Plum Organics, Justin's, Suja Juice to Feed Hungry Kids

COLLABORATION - Three leading natural products brands — organic baby food company Plum Organics, nut butter and organic confections brand Justin’s, and organic, cold-pressured juice brand Suja Juice — are proud to announce a new initiative with Conscious Alliance (CA), a national nonprofit committed to supporting communities in crisis through hunger relief and youth empowerment. The coalition has banded together to launch one of the nation’s first Backpack Programs featuring only natural and healthy products.

Hershey Promises GMO-Free Kisses by the End of the Year
Hershey Promises GMO-Free Kisses by the End of the Year

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - U.S. chocolate giant Hershey has announced that it “will transition some of its most popular chocolate brands, including Hershey's Kisses Milk Chocolates and Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bars to simpler ingredients." The shift comes in response to tens of thousands of Facebook posts, emails and telephone calls from consumers who took part in a recent campaign spearheaded by GMO Inside, calling on Hershey's to move to non-GMO ingredients.Hershey's confirmed that as part of its commitment to simpler ingredients, its two iconic products, Hershey's Kisses and Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bars, will be non-GMO by the end of the year.In their recent statement, Hershey’s outlines three key principles for moving forward:

Starbucks Partnering with Washington Post Vet on New ‘Social Impact’ Media Company
Starbucks Partnering with Washington Post Vet on New ‘Social Impact’ Media Company

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - The Washington Post’s Rajiv Chandrasekaran is reportedly leaving his longtime post at the Post to form a new venture — a media company that will produce longform “social-impact" documentaries, with an initial focus on veterans’ issues, in partnership with Starbucks.

World’s ‘Most Admired’ Companies Also Are Sustainability Stars
World’s ‘Most Admired’ Companies Also Are Sustainability Stars

LEADERSHIP - Apple, Google and Berkshire Hathaway are the world’s most highly regarded companies, according to a new ranking by Fortune magazine.Amazon, Starbucks, Disney, Southwest Airlines, American Express, General Electric (GE) and Coca-Cola rounded out the top ten.

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Walmart Raises Hourly Pay for 500,000 Store Employees
Walmart Raises Hourly Pay for 500,000 Store Employees

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - Walmart has announced it will give pay raises to approximately 500,000 full-time and part-time associates at Walmart U.S. stores and Sam's Clubs in the first half of the current fiscal year.Starting in April, current and future hourly associates will make $9.00 per hour, or $1.75 above the federal minimum wage. By February 2016, current associates will earn at least $10.00 per hour.The compensation announcement came as part of $1 billion worth of comprehensive changes to the company’s hiring, training and scheduling programs, as well as to store management structure. The retailer says these changes will give its associates the opportunity to earn higher pay and advance in their careers.

Nestlé USA Removing All Artificial Flavors, Colors from Its Chocolate Candy by the End of 2015
Nestlé USA Removing All Artificial Flavors, Colors from Its Chocolate Candy by the End of 2015

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - This week, Nestlé USA boldly committed to removing all artificial flavors and FDA-certified colors from all of its chocolate candy products by the end of 2015. The change will affect the food giant’s current portfolio of more than 10 chocolate brands and 250 products, including Nestlé Crunch, Butterfinger, Baby Ruth, Skinny Cow, Raisinets, Goobers, Sno Caps, 100 Grand, Oh Henry and Chunky. New versions of the products will begin appearing on store shelves by mid-2015, and will be identified by a “No Artificial Flavors or Colors” claim featured on-pack.

Industry Leaders Weigh In on Methodology for Measuring Products' Social Impacts
Industry Leaders Weigh In on Methodology for Measuring Products' Social Impacts

NEW METRICS - In September, a Roundtable of companies comprised of Ahold, AkzoNobel, BASF, BMW Group, Goodyear, L’Oréal, Marks & Spencer, Philips, RB, Steelcase, DSM and PRé Sustainability published a handbook on how to conduct a Product Social Impact Assessment.

Marketing for Good: Breaking Down the Barrier to New
Marketing for Good: Breaking Down the Barrier to New

MARKETING AND COMMS - I had a fascinating conversation this morning with Guy Dauncey, a futurist and big brain in the sustainability field. Guy is writing his latest book, a novel that projects us into the Vancouver of 2040. His vision isn’t apocalyptic — it describes how we as a civilization finally came around to embrace ‘new,’ and turn it into post-fossil-fuel prosperity. Inspiring stuff, especially when the vision is supported by the science Dauncey painstakingly assembles.

Report Finds Asia Pulp & Paper Lagging on Social Responsibility Commitments; APP Says It Will Take Time
Report Finds Asia Pulp & Paper Lagging on Social Responsibility Commitments; APP Says It Will Take Time

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - A field-based survey by Rainforest Action Network (RAN) investigating Asia Pulp and Paper’s (APP) performance, providing input into an evaluation of APP’s progress on fulfilling its social responsibility commitments, and making recommendations to the company finds little on-the-ground evidence to date that APP is taking sufficient action to resolve land conflict issues.

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Hershey Exceeds Sustainable Cocoa Goals in 2014, Sets New Targets
Hershey Exceeds Sustainable Cocoa Goals in 2014, Sets New Targets

SUPPLY CHAIN - The Hershey Company has announced that 30 percent of its globally sourced cocoa was independently certified and verified in 2014—this reflects an accelerated pace for achieving its goal of sourcing 100 percent of its cocoa supply from certified and sustainable cocoa farms by 2020.The announcement follows the company’s 2013 achievement of sourcing 18 percent certified cocoa globally, nearly double its original goal of 10 percent for the first year of its 2020 commitment.Following this accelerated progress, Hershey also announced a new target to source at least 50 percent certified cocoa by the end of 2015, reaching its 2016 goal of 40 and 50 percent one year ahead of schedule.

Timberland Reforestation Program Slowly Sowing Seeds of Change in Haiti
Timberland Reforestation Program Slowly Sowing Seeds of Change in Haiti

COLLABORATION - Timberland has long been one of the more proactive and socially responsible companies within the apparel industry, and this commitment has continued since its acquisition in 2011 by the multinational VF Corporation. The outdoor gear company has launched a bevy of social responsibility programs across the globe and reports on its environmental, social and governance progress quarterly. Now, leading up to the five-year anniversary of Haiti’s devastating earthquake on January 12, the company is promoting the work it has done to help the Caribbean nation rebuild.

AT&T's Eco-Rating 2.0 Helps Consumers Understand Environmental, Social Impacts of Their Devices
AT&T's Eco-Rating 2.0 Helps Consumers Understand Environmental, Social Impacts of Their Devices

MARKETING AND COMMS - At the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week, AT&T unveiled Eco-Rating 2.0, an updated rating system that provides consumers an easy way to understand environmental — and now social — impacts associated with their devices. With expanded and more aggressive goals, the ratings also now apply to tablets.

Whirlpool Imagines Smart Homes with a Conscience at CES 2015
Whirlpool Imagines Smart Homes with a Conscience at CES 2015

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - This week at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show, Whirlpool is helping attendees imagine the future of a fully connected home ecosystem — from smart products such as the first connected, donation-enabled laundry pair, to a socially networked kitchen environment concept with smarter surfaces.

eBay Drops ALEC After Pressure From Environmental Groups; Activists Set Sights on AT&T, UPS
eBay Drops ALEC After Pressure From Environmental Groups; Activists Set Sights on AT&T, UPS

THE NEXT ECONOMY - On Thursday, after months of pressure from climate change activists, eBay confirmed its departure from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).“This is a major victory for those of us who have continued to pressure eBay executives to drop ALEC,” said Ryan Canney, Senior Campaigner with Forecast the Facts. “Denying climate change has no place in the modern economy, and this decision shows the credibility of eBay’s commitment to climate change.”

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Sustainability Managers Bring More to the Table Than Environmental Expertise
Sustainability Managers Bring More to the Table Than Environmental Expertise

ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE - Many companies today view sustainable business practices as an integral part of their overall strategy — and much more than an opportunity to enhance their brand image. A natural extension of this trend is increased demand for experienced executives who can help companies meet their environmental goals. According to a 2014 report by the International Renewable Energy Agency, approximately 625,000 ‘green’ jobs were created in the renewable energy sector alone in the United States last year. In many cases, these are well-paying positions requiring higher education and/or specialized training.

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