The world’s first curbside recycling program started where I live. Ontario, Canada’s Blue Box program made its official debut in the City of Kitchener in 1981 and became a blueprint for recycling programs in more than 150 countries around the world. Many Canadians don’t realize recycling “started” here in the Great White North, and unfortunately, many also don’t know what can go in their blue boxes these days.
We’re increasingly living in a world of purpose-led brands, as growing numbers of consumers are more interested than ever in the “big world” issues related to the products they buy, and how they use them. And yet, when it comes to the sustainability sector, we still struggle to apply some of the most basic communications principles to the issues we are trying to solve.
Businesses have a critical role to play in cleaning up the global economy, but it is consumers whole truly hold the key to achieving a more sustainable future.
In a new report, PA Consulting Group shows that retailers can build customer loyalty — and grow sales — by providing customers with reasons to stay engaged by returning to stores to resell, recycle and donate clothing and electronics.
Last week, new analysis from B Corp determined that companies using business as a force for good outperform those who don’t. Now, a study from the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA), an international professional body for environmental practitioners, has revealed that sustainability professionals report higher job satisfaction than the UK average.
If sustainability is so “in,” why aren’t more people buying ethically made clothes? The past few decades have changed the shape of the apparel industry. A few iconic media scandals over child labor and sweatshop labor have made Western shoppers sensitive to certain social responsibility topics.
A lot of pro-environmental messages suggest that people will feel guilty if they don’t make an effort to live more sustainably or takes steps to ameliorate climate change. But a recent study from Princeton University finds that highlighting the pride people will feel if they take such actions may be a better way to change environmental behaviors.
The more mature you get, the more you start to understand that the little, normal things you do and the routines you follow make a big impact over time. Leave the water running while you’re brushing your teeth, and you’re wasting up to 200 gallons of water each month. Bike to work every day, and you’re cutting down on household emissions by at least 6 percent while lessening vehicular pollution by about .97 pounds per mile.
Cross-Posted from The Next Economy.
A shift in consumer awareness around sustainability is causing a surge in demand for plant-based proteins — an emerging market opportunity that global food companies won’t want to miss.
Patagonia is back at it — the outdoor gear company has launched a new digital platform connecting customers with local environmental organizations. The aim of the new platform, Patagonia Action Works, is to encourage Patagonia customers to learn more about local environmental issues and get involved with events, petitions, fundraising and volunteering in their area.
The US consumes more meat than any other country in the world. But what does this mean for consumers on a personal level? Blitz Results has created a new calculator that shows users the impact of their dietary decisions on the environment. The tool calculates the resources required for an individual's consumption of meat, and provides users with a glimpse at how eating vegetarian alternatives can help drive down their impact.
Sustainability is increasingly becoming an integral part of business practice, but consumers continue to hold the key to achieving long-term change — a concept that has been widely observed by consulting firms and multinational corporations alike. New data from online search behavioral specialist Hitwise reaffirms this and demonstrates how mainstream television can be used to inspire consumers into action.
Since 2015, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has been publishing its Chain Reaction report, produced in collaboration with Friends of the Earth, Consumers Union, Food Animal Concerns Trust and Center for Food Safety. Chain Reaction is basically a report card, showing how well major fast-food (and -casual) restaurants are doing at limiting their reliance on meat products raised on antibiotics. Here’s a look at 2017’s scorecard:
Over the past decade, Danish energy company Ørsted has effectively transformed itself into one of Europe’s leading sustainable energy companies, transitioning away from oil and coal in favor of offshore wind. The company has already reduced carbon emissions by 52 percent since 2006 and is on track to achieve its science-based target of 96 percent by 2023.
Consumers have a critical role to play in pushing forward the sustainability agenda, particularly when it comes to food. But initiating change requires both educating the public about the issues and inspiring them to action, the latter of which isn’t always a straightforward process.
This has been a bad year for natural disasters. In fact, 2017 is tied with 2011 for the most billion-dollar disasters. Without even counting Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria or the California fires, the US has sustained 218-plus weather and climate disasters since 1980, totaling more than $1.2 trillion in recovery costs.
October is Campus Sustainability Month (CSM), an international celebration of sustainability in higher education. One focus of this year’s CSM is the conservation of water, a natural resource that humans need to survive.