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greenApes Helping Companies Reward Employees, Consumers Alike for Sustainable Lifestyle Choices
greenApes Helping Companies Reward Employees, Consumers Alike for Sustainable Lifestyle Choices

ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE - Buying organic tomatoes may not be a big deal. They taste better and they’re better for both your health and the planet; enough reasons to justify paying a price premium. No wonder organic food is leading the growth of sustainable consumption.But it isn’t always that easy to make the more sustainable lifestyle choice. You may have found yourself feeling bad for using your car instead of public transportation. While staring at an organic cotton T-shirt, you may have wondered if you should buy it or go for the cheaper standard cotton version a couple racks away. It's often an uncomfortable struggle between collective and private benefits: the planet versus your wallet.

Scrappy Start-Ups Finding New Options for Crowdfunding
Scrappy Start-Ups Finding New Options for Crowdfunding

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Ryan Kushner and his wife, Amanda Ravenhill, launched their non-profit start-up, Hero Hatchery, whose mission is to “wake society up to the imminent threat of climate change, and illuminate the possibility it holds as a call to reinvent current unhealthy systems,” in October. They hope to raise $30,000 for the world’s first crowdfunded fellowship to support a climate-change activist who will bring out the climate change hero in us all and work to ensure climate change maintains its relevancy in the cultural zeitgeist.

For Those Who’d Rather Give Than Receive, #GivingTuesday Marks True Start to Holiday Season
For Those Who’d Rather Give Than Receive, #GivingTuesday Marks True Start to Holiday Season

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - While thousands of retailers across the U.S. and cyberspace are dusting their shelves and crossing their fingers for lucrative Black Friday and Cyber Monday takes, respectively, thousands of organizations around the world are gearing up for an event that represents the true spirit of the holiday season, #GivingTuesday.

To Build a Futureproof Brand, Build Your Global Expert Network
To Build a Futureproof Brand, Build Your Global Expert Network

LEADERSHIP - A few years ago, my ad agency was acquired by Maddock Douglas, an innovation agency based in Chicago. For a year, I worked with the team at MD, honing a green innovation process for their clients.I learned a number of incredibly useful things from my friends at MD, but one has served me particularly well in the business of building futureproof brands: the power of a global expert network.A global expert network is, as the name implies, a network of smart, specialized idea people you can call upon to guide your thinking. In my case, they’re C-suite level, generally entrepreneurial, with strong brand experience.

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The Story of Stuff's 'The Good Stuff' Examines Roadblocks to Greener Chemistry
The Story of Stuff's 'The Good Stuff' Examines Roadblocks to Greener Chemistry

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Do you read the ingredient labels of your products? Here are some from a popular baby shampoo:“Purple paraben, quarternium-15, sorbitan laurate…,” rattles off Annie Leonard, co-director of The Story of Stuff Project, during the most recent episode of their “Good Stuff” podcast, which discussed green chemistry.Now, what do those ingredients mean? Where do they come from? If companies are allowed to sell them on the shelves, is that not an indication that they are safe to use? What about the ingredients that aren’t listed … and what does “fragrance” really mean?

Employee Engagement: Why Motivating the Elephant Is Better Than Rewarding the Rider
Employee Engagement: Why Motivating the Elephant Is Better Than Rewarding the Rider

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - Many organisations are grappling with the same question: How do we create an employee reward and recognition programme designed to deliver widely adopted and sustained pro-environmental behaviours?

Getting Over the Sustainability Innovation Hump
Getting Over the Sustainability Innovation Hump

COLLABORATION - I just read an interesting Deloitte study linking sustainability with innovation inside corporations. According to the study, companies engaged in sustainability innovate more than their competitors. At the risk of sounding cheeky, I don’t find this hard to imagine. Companies that recognize the importance of sustainability tend to be those pushing for new ideas. And applying the sustainability filter to innovation efforts sparks new patterns of thinking — and fresh ideas.

'Sesame Street' Characters Now Encouraging Kids to Eat Healthier
'Sesame Street' Characters Now Encouraging Kids to Eat Healthier

MARKETING AND COMMS - Last week, First Lady Michelle Obama was joined at the White House by Sesame Street characters Elmo and Rosita to announce a potentially game-changing collaboration in the fight against childhood obesity. Sesame Workshop and the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) formed a two-year agreement with the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) to help promote fresh fruit and vegetable consumption to kids, according to Let’s Move!, Mrs. Obama’s initiative to tackle the childhood obesity epidemic.

Prescription for a More Sustainable Future: Sustainability Solutions Practice
Prescription for a More Sustainable Future: Sustainability Solutions Practice

COLLABORATION - How can we create a future where 9 billion people live well within the limits of the planet? Can we harness knowledge to encourage a transition to a more sustainable future? What are the best solutions for current social, environmental and economic issues and how will they need to change and adapt over time?

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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.

Wharton Professor Sees Misinformation on What Fiduciary Duty Really Means for U.S. Companies
Wharton Professor Sees Misinformation on What Fiduciary Duty Really Means for U.S. Companies

MARKETING AND COMMS - It has been a business maxim for years: Shareholder value trumps all when it comes to measuring corporate success. But by overrating shareholder value, management could focus too much on short-term stock price measures, given that outsized executive compensation often is fueled by stock options. And focusing too much on the short term can hurt a business over the long run, says Eric W. Orts, a Wharton professor of legal studies and business ethics. There are better measures of corporate success, he points out in an interview with [email protected] about his new book, Business Persons: A Legal Theory of the Firm.An excerpt of the conversation follows.

This Website Lets You Tell Everyone That All You Want for Christmas Is NO MORE STUFF
This Website Lets You Tell Everyone That All You Want for Christmas Is NO MORE STUFF

MARKETING AND COMMS - If you are like us, your family has already started asking you what you want for Christmas/Hanukkah/insert your mass-consumption holiday of choice here. And while we like getting presents, we really, really, honestly, we promise, do not need that much more stuff. Which is why we’re glad to see SoKind, which Treehugger describes as “a new and improved gift registry aimed firmly at those who value experiences over material goods, handmade crafts over mass-produced gadgets, and gently used and carefully selected pre-loved goods over things they’ll probably use once and never see again.”

5 Ways to Create a Culture of Sustainability in Any Company
5 Ways to Create a Culture of Sustainability in Any Company

ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE - There is no simple way to identify a leading company in sustainability. Given the proliferation of ratings, rankings, blogs and indices, there is no shortage of opinions, and often these are in direct conflict with one another. The methodologies used to calculate performance are often very opaque, or nonexistent. Even highly reputable organizations, based on a good core of data, often produce wildly divergent results from one another. And once the pundits get a hold of any ranking, they usually tear it to pieces, bringing their own criteria, opinions and biases to bear and further muddying the waters. While the debates are often fierce, no one can really agree on what sustainability itself really means.

Yellow Leaf Hammocks: Enriching Lives East and West
Yellow Leaf Hammocks: Enriching Lives East and West

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - What started out as a backpacking tour through Southeast Asia in Spring 2010 serendipitously turned into an entrepreneurial venture for San Francisco-based Boston native Joe Demin. One morning, while his friends dozed on the sands of the coast of Northern Thailand, Demin ventured through a nearby jungle on a bike and literally stumbled across a small wooden shop selling artisanal hammocks by a local hunter-gatherer community, the Mlabri. Visiting with this rural community, he learned of their story and struggle for economic independence and immediately wanted to help. As Demin explains, ‘I literally sketched out a business plan on the back of the plane’s airsick bag.’

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Meet Bond, David Bond: Marketing Director for Nature
Meet Bond, David Bond: Marketing Director for Nature

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - This weekend, the feature-length documentary film Project Wild Thing opens in independent cinemas in the UK.The film explores the increasing disconnection between British children and the natural world around them; kids’ roaming distance from their homes has reportedly decreased 90% in the past 30 years.PROJECT WILD THING - official trailer from Green Lions.

Effective Sustainability Strategies - Case Study #1: Pret a Manger
Effective Sustainability Strategies - Case Study #1: Pret a Manger

MARKETING AND COMMS - Bar none, the most persistent challenge that the sustainability movement faces is how to prove the business bottom line benefits of sustainability activities. This is particularly acute for small and medium-sized companies, for whom survival is the number one priority. When looking at who engages and communicates sustainability activities, a disproportionate number of them are large corporates with dedicated sustainability/CSR budgets, as covered in our previous post. All too often, sustainability is a ‘tack-on’ to what business normally do anyway, and not the reason for being.

The Answer Is: The Human Condition
The Answer Is: The Human Condition

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - “We need to do something about the environmental damage in our heads.”(Time, 24 May 1993).

Fair Trade USA, Kiva Launch Microlending Program for Fair Trade Farmers
Fair Trade USA, Kiva Launch Microlending Program for Fair Trade Farmers

SUPPLY CHAIN - Fair Trade USA has partnered with nonprofit Kiva to help small-scale coffee farmers access financing, improve crop quality and invest in the future of their families and communities.The partnership resulted from a successful collaboration last year between Fair Trade USA, Kiva and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters to pilot Kiva’s first agricultural lending program with a Fair Trade coffee cooperative in Mexico. Kiva says its lenders around the world fully funded nearly all of the loans, which benefited hundreds of small farmers working to prepare their fields for harvest.

Don't Just Sell Green, Sell Great
Don't Just Sell Green, Sell Great

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - Heading into this year’s Sustainable Brands conference, I was looking forward to driving BMW’s electric prototype that was on display. In hindsight, however, the technical highlight of the show for me was the Tesla Model S. You know, the ones that people were actually driving, with coffee cups in the console and crumbs in the backseat.

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Capitals & Commons: A Dialogue with David Bollier, Part One
Capitals & Commons: A Dialogue with David Bollier, Part One

NEW METRICS - David Bollier is among the foremost global thinkers and advocates for the commons. #NewMetrics channel co-curator Bill Baue recently had the following discussion with Bollier about the potential intersections between the commons movement and emerging concepts and practices in the corporate sustainability movement.

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