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Behavior Change

The latest developments supporting a shift toward sustainable consumption, as well as specific ways brands are encouraging less wasteful behaviors.

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Why Consumer Education Is Vital for Corporate Sustainability Success

More and more, big companies have a growing responsibility, not just to help their bottom line, but to promote significant positive behaviors that contribute to a healthier world. That often means going above and beyond company-wide sustainability initiatives — committing to consumer education programs and encouraging audiences to be a part of the responsibility we all bear for protecting the environment.

Ghost Fishing: Time for the Fishing Industry to Clean Up Its Deadly Mess

More and more consumers are aware of overfishing and the effects plastic trash is having on the world’s oceans. Various companies are taking small steps in harvesting ocean garbage and recycling it while organizations such as the Marine Stewardship Council are raising awareness about the importance of sustainably sourced seafood. One problem, however, is still wreaking havoc on fisheries across the world. Unwanted and abandoned fishing equipment such as nets and pots, often called “ghost gear,” often still traps and kills fish and sea mammals long after their final use.

Climate Change Performance Index: U.S. Ranks 44th, Canada and Australia Worst Industrialized Offenders

Global emissions have reached a new peak, but recent developments indicate a new readiness for action on climate protection. This is the message of the 10th edition of the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI); a ranking of the climate-protection performance of the 58 highest emitters worldwide published by Germanwatch and CAN Europe at the COP20 Climate Conference in Lima this week."We see global trends, indicating promising shifts in some of the most relevant sectors for climate protection," says Jan Burck of Germanwatch, author of the Index. "The rise of emissions has slowed down, and renewables are rapidly growing due to declining costs and massive investments."

Best Buy Does Better for Canada's Forests by Committing to Sustainable Paper

Today, the world’s largest electronics retailer, Best Buy, announced that it will undertake important improvements to its paper supply chain to better protect Canada’s endangered Boreal Forest. A report launched by Greenpeace Canada two weeks ago revealed the company has been buying more than 100 million pounds of paper every year to produce throw-away flyers, from controversial Canadian pulp and paper company Resolute Forest Products — which has been linked to less-than-responsible operations in the Boreal.

Can Calorie Counts Change Consumer Eating Habits? Or Will the Lure of a Quick, Delicious Fix Always Win Out?

Anyone who exercises regularly or watches what they eat already knows that fast food is bad for your health. But due to the continued popularity of fast food, the FDA has stepped in to try and provide the general public with more information and get them eating better, announcing last week that fast food chains, vending machine companies and other restaurants with more than 20 locations are now required to list the number of calories in each of their menu items.

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Global Climate Finance Falls for Second Year Running

Global investment in activities that reduce the threat of climate change fell for the second year in a row from $359 billion in 2012 to $331 billion in 2013, according to a new study by the Climate Policy Initiative.Global Landscape of Climate Finance shows that, while public sources and intermediaries contributed $137 billion—a figure largely unchanged from last year—private investment totaled $193 billion, falling by $31 billion from 2012.

AOL, SAP Join Tech Company ALEC Exodus

AOL and SAP have joined a slew of tech companies to cut ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a conservative lobbying group that has become renowned for its opposition to environmental regulations.Last week, a company representative for SAP cited ALEC's conservative stance on climate change and its long-standing positions on gun control and voter rights as reasons for dropping support.Environmental organizations and public-interest groups have accused ALEC of denying the existence of climate change, which ALEC denies. However, ALEC sponsors model legislation that runs counter to the scientific consensus on climate change.

#SB14London: How Anglian Water Is Guiding Users to 'Keep It Clear'

After a roundtable discussion hosted by Business in the Community, I sat down with Collette Parker of Anglian Water’s customer engagement program to find out more about the opportunities and challenges facing this UK water utility service.

#SB14London: The Holy Grail - Building Movements for Behavior Change at Scale

On Tuesday afternoon, I joined three inspiring speakers at SB ’14 London to learn more on how to create lasting and impactful movements for social good. The session was hosted by Dan Burgess, who runs a wide range of social projects including Good for Nothing, Break the Silence and Project Wild Thing. He was accompanied by Ivo Gormley, founder of GoodGym, and Gail Gallie of Project Everyone.

GRSB Approves Global Principles, Criteria for Sustainable Beef

The Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) has announced that its membership has overwhelmingly approved global Principles and Criteria for defining sustainable beef and sustainable beef production practices.More than 96 percent of the GRSB General Assembly members voted in favor of the definition, principles and criteria. Every one of the five constituencies — producer, commerce and processing, retail, civil society and regional and national roundtables — voted to approve the definition.

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Collaborative Business Campaign Helps UK Residents Be Energy Aware, Save £300 on Bills

A collaborative business effort, led by UK charity Business in the Community, brought together representatives from business and Government to tackle energy efficiency in the home.The fortnight campaign, Be Energy Aware, ran in October 2014 encouraging consumers to use less energy in the home, ultimately saving money on their energy bill. Participating companies included Virgin Money, lighting manufacturer Osram, DIY retailer B&Q, Thames Water, and Housing Association AmicusHorizon. The UK Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and industry body Energy Saving Trust also supported the campaign.

Study: Millennials, GenXers and Baby Boomers Have Similar Workplace Preferences

Age is less of a factor than widely thought when it comes to workplace preferences in the U.S., according to a new workplace strategy report by CBRE Group.The study found that, while current assumptions about millennials are driving the design of many workplaces today, there is actually little difference in workplace preferences between millennials, Generation Xers and baby boomers. The study is based on aggregated CBRE Workplace Strategy surveys from more than 5,500 office workers across numerous industries,

Activists Dressed as Bees Protest at Lowe’s Stores in Philadelphia & Brooklyn

Today, activists from SumOfUs.org, joined by concerned citizens in cities around the country are rallying outside Lowe’s Stores in an effort to build awareness of the company’s lack of action to eliminate bee-killing pesticides — known as neonics — from it stores and supply chains.Two protests in Brooklyn and Philadelphia will feature activists dressed as bees, distributing information on neonic pesticides and their impact on critical bee populations.

OECD: U.S. Has Worst Work-Life Balance Among Developed Countries

The United States has the worst work-life balance of the 23 developed nations recently ranked by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Better Life Index.The OECD judged work-life balance based on three variables:

Report: As Companies Commit to Sustainability, Some Remain Skeptical

A growing number of companies are committed to policies to ensure environmental, social and governance sustainability — but some remain skeptical about their benefits, according to a new report from the Economist Intelligence Unit.New Business Models: Shared value in the 21st century, commissioned by Enel Foundation, finds that 66 percent of companies believe there is a direct link between sustainability and long-term financial performance. More managers also understand the wider importance of sustainability and increasing efforts to embed it into their strategies.

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eBay, Kindle Rated Most Sustainable Apps

eBay, Kindle and Skype are some of the best apps for creating sustainable behaviors, according to a new study by WSP, a global professional services consultancy.eBay ranked highest due to its huge popularity and ability to make selling unwanted goods uncomplicated, which cuts waste and reduces the need to buy new goods. WSP says. Of all the apps measured eBay was the best promoter of the circular economy. The Kindle app came second as it was also one of the most downloaded apps, avoiding the need to buy a separate reader and the need to print and distribute paper books.

LEGO Ends 50-Year Partnership with Shell After 6 Million People Campaign to Save the Arctic

Following an extensive multimedia Greenpeace campaign, LEGO published a statement this morning committing to "not renew the co-promotion contract with Shell." The decision comes a month after Shell submitted plans showing it’s once again gearing up to drill in the melting Arctic next year.

The Answer to Effective Sustainability Marketing? Simple ... But Not Easy

While world leaders were converging in New York last week to debate climate change, I crisscrossed the country to attend three different conferences (thereby adding more carbon to the aforementioned UN debate, I realize). Specifically, I attended the EEBA conference, the Utility Efficiency Exchange and Sustainable Brands' New Metrics '14. At all of these events, I met folks and heard presentations from the private sector’s front lines of energy and environment — all working to create programs and products that will, ultimately, lower our collective environmental footprint.

Report: Half of Global Wildlife Lost Between 1970 and 2010

Global populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish dropped 52 percent between 1970 and 2010, according to a new report by World Wildlife Fund (WWF).The 2014 Living Planet Report says this biodiversity loss is occuring disproportionately in low-income countries — and correlates with the increasing resource use of high-income countries.

CDP: Companies Taking Climate Action Generating 18% Higher ROE Than Peers

S&P 500 industry leaders that are actively managing and planning for climate change are generating 18 percent higher return on equity (ROE) than peers and 67 percent higher than companies that do not disclose on climate change, according to a new report by CDP. The report tracks industry-leaders over the last three years against their financial performance. The analysis revealed that those who lead on climate disclosure and performance have generated higher profitability.

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