Behavior Change

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

While Companies Continue to Strive for Sustainability, Consumers Still at the Heart of Lasting Change

A decade ago something remarkable happened: Business leaders watched Al Gore present An Inconvenient Truth, and accepted that man-made climate change was real and catastrophic. CEOs said that something must be done and embraced carbon pricing and emissions trading. These same captains of industry were further encouraged when the UK Stern Review explained that early investment in low-carbon solutions would outweigh its costs and boost economic growth.

Dove Real Beauty Campaign ‘Searching’ for Teen Self-Esteem in Australia

Unilever Australia’s latest iteration of the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty focuses on the internet search terms used by young girls, which highlight the prevalence of negative body image and eating disorders.

Sustainability by Default: Making Doing Good the Easiest Choice

One of the most vexing challenges in the sustainability movement is how to get people to do the right thing. Research by organizations such as GlobeScan suggest that the majority of consumers care about sustainability and want to do the right thing, yet the gap between desire and daily behavior remains a major obstacle to progress. I believe that we have been focused on getting people to do the right thing, when a more fruitful path would be to make doing the right thing the default choice.

Earth Overshoot Day Continues to Creep Up the Calendar

While Olympians are desperately competing in Rio for the fastest times and highest scores, humanity has achieved a different world record – we have used up nature’s budget for the entire year in record time. Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s annual demand on nature exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year and arrived earlier than ever, falling on August 8, 2016. Unfortunately, there are no winners in the race for natural resources.

Diageo Aiming to Drive Home Dangers of Drunk Driving with Immersive VR Experience

Alcohol giant Diageo — whose brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Bulleit and Buchanan’s whiskies; and Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas; along with Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness — recently announced plans to roll out a first-of-its-kind immersive virtual reality (VR) technology that will allow consumers of legal drinking age to experience the many pitfalls associated with irresponsible drinking.

The Hubbub on Anti-Litter Campaigns: New Website Showcases Best Practices

Behavior change charity Hubbub has launched a new global website designed to aid councils and businesses who are looking for solutions in their fight to tackle litter. Complete with statistics on impact and costs per campaign, the charity hopes the website will help reduce wasteful spending by providing guidance on best practices and inspiration.

Perdue Responds to Abuse Exposé with Groundbreaking Animal Welfare Policy

Perdue Foods, one of the nation's largest poultry producers, recently unveiled a precedent-setting commitment to improving animal welfare, which involves much higher standards and requirements for its poultry facilities. Citing the "five freedoms," a set of ethical imperatives for farmed animal welfare, 2016 and Beyond: Next Generation of Perdue Commitments to Animal Care outlines the company's efforts to implement on-farm improvements such as environmental enrichment and natural light; curb malicious abuse; and eliminate cruel live-shackle slaughter.

Why the UN's REDD+ Program Needs More Short-Term Focus

The time has come to revisit REDD+ — the UN initiative that attempts to create financial value for the carbon locked in forests — to ensure that it is truly delivering on the momentum from Paris 2015.

Target, CVS Expand Wellness, Healthy Food Efforts

In 2014, CVS made headlines when it rebranded to CVS Health and made the bold decision to discontinue the sale of all tobacco products. In September, the company claimed that the latter decision had a wider impact on public health; the data showed that cigarette sales were down across a variety of retailers in the states where CVS had greater than 15 percent market share.

More Recycling Evangelists, Fewer Space Heaters Under the Desks

I used to work in an office where the technical writer, a former environmental scientist, was so passionate about sustainability that she went out of her way to encourage and educate others about recycling. She even started a k-cup recycling program in the break room, and she personally carried home the bag each week and included it with her own recycling.

Keurig, PepsiCo Discuss How Owning Up to Failure Can Lead to Long-Term Success

“Failure is temporary but change is real,” said Sophia Mendelsohn, head of Sustainability at JetBlue Airways, during the Wednesday evening plenary at SB'16 San Diego. While many Silicon Valley tech firms wear failure as badges of honor, many brands shy away from admitting their defeats. But this is beginning to change, as companies learn that confessing and even celebrating failure is is key to building sustainability strategies and purpose-driven innovation. “We need to communicate more about our failures,” said Monique Oxender, Chief Sustainability Officer at Keurig Green Mountain. However, this is easier said than done.

Lessons from Spirituality, Nature and Business on the Meaning of Purpose and How to Activate It

The purpose of business is changing. While historically, business students have been taught that the purpose of business solely is to increase investors’ profits — known as the Friedman Doctrine — the most successful brands are searching for a deeper meaning. Defining and activating purpose in business was the key theme of Tuesday evening’s plenaries at Sustainable Brands 2016. While Millennials often receive credit for compelling companies to embrace higher ideals, this actually is something all generations of demanded, said Shannon Schuyler, Chief Purpose Officer at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). However, because Millennials are such a large demographic and constantly communicate via technology, their voices are being heard.

Hot Button Issues of the Day: Consumer Concerns Driving Behavior, Activism

Nick Aster, founder and publisher of TriplePundit, moderated a panel discussion Tuesday morning about activism and purchasing power, featuring Aria Finger, CEO of; Shayna Englin, Managing Director of North America; Briana Quindazzi of BBMG; and Marlin Miller, COO of Care2.

Morningstar Farms Docu-Series Tells 5 ‘Veg Effect’ Stories of ‘When Less Meats More’

From a veg-loving hip-hop family from Atlanta, to butchers who support ‘Meatless Mondays,’ the new docu-series The Veg EffectTM features five unique, personal stories from across the United States. Through the series, frozen veggie foods brand Morningstar Farms aims to demonstrate how people making small changes to their eating habits “can lead to a world of difference.”

Social Media an Invaluable Tool for Helping Conscious Consumers Live Even More Consciously

With hundreds of millions of individuals logging into social media accounts every day, using the medium as a platform for social change and activism is just common sense. Today, about 61 percent of consumers use social platforms to learn about sustainability issues. In this open forum-style digital environment, consumers are able to have open conversations about corporate social responsibility and other salient subjects in sustainability.

Waitrose Joins Tesco in Threatening to Can John West Over Broken Tuna Sustainability Pledge

Waitrose has joined Tesco as the latest UK retailer to take seafood giant John West to task over its fishing practices, threatening to remove its canned tuna from store shelves if it does not follow through on its promise to improve. The decision will pile pressure on the embattled tuna company — which is Britain’s most popular tuna brand, accounting for a third of the UK market — following last week’s announcement by Tesco that John West would be banned if it continued using harmful fishing practices.

How Standardized Labels, Celebrities and Brands Are Working to Help the Public ‘Recycle Right!’

In celebration of Earth Month (shouldn’t every month be Earth Month?), our nonprofit organization Recycle Across America (RAA) hosted an exciting pair of events to discuss the faltering recycling industry and a simple solution that can help begin to make recycling fiscally viable and help it begin to thrive. Before we talk about the Earth Month events and RAA’s society-wide standardized labeling system for recycling bins, let’s briefly discuss the challenges facing the recycling industry and the ominous signs that suggest we need serious solutions, and fast.

How a Shrub in Africa Made Me Want to Change the Food Industry

In 2004 I was on my knees scrabbling through the Cameroon rainforest. A keen botanist, I’d signed up as a volunteer with an NGO to help map the forest and search for new species. One day whilst hiking along a surging river, I came across a little shrub, no taller than my knee, peppered with bright blue flowers. Not recognizing the bush, I called over one of the local scientists in our group. He immediately alerted the botany professor who, in turn, got very excited. They had never seen a shrub like it before, and it turned out to be a new species.

Disney, Recyclebank Extol the 'Magic of Conservation' to Encourage Kids to Recycle, Respect Environment

A new collaboration between Disney and Recyclebank, a Marketing-as-a-Service (MaaS) company that promotes sustainable behavior change, “hopes to inspire teachable moments with kids and families” across the U.S. and encourage recycling through the magic of Disney storytelling and characters.

41 Energy Companies Accept EPA Challenge to Reduce Methane Emissions

Duke Energy, PG&E, National Grid and TransCanada Pipelines are among the 41 energy companies that have accepted a challenge from the EPA to reduce their methane emissions.

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