Do you feel that once you’ve met one environmentalist, you’ve met them all … and that each of them comes with a banner in their backpack? If so, and if that’s stopping you from collaborating with them, you’re likely missing out on an opportunity that could help your company gain an important competitive edge. Partnering with environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) can, at the very least, buffer your brand against the perception of “greenwashing” or potentially even spark the development of breakthrough products and systems that revolutionize your business or even your sector.
Domtar Corporation is one of the largest and most innovative paper companies in the world. Our company, PrintEco, is a two-year-old software startup with a mission to help save paper and ink and protect the environment. So when we announced our partnership with Domtar at SB ’13 in June, a lot of our friends were like, “Congratulations! Wait ... a paper company?” Admittedly, we’re a bit of an odd couple — but working with Domtar has taught us a lot about branding and about sustainable business in general.
Mark Tercek of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has written a new book with Jonathan Adams, Nature's Fortune: How Business & Society Thrive by Investing in Nature. A video interview of him at an Aspen Institute forum last month at Hunter College, “The Case for a Profit Motive in Conserving the Environment,” with New York Times science writer Andrew Revkin showed that his theme and approach have a lot going for them.
Introducing the Communispace Client Index — an index designed to track the stock market performance of our top 25 clients (i.e., those clients investing the most in consumer collaboration) against the S&P 500. Our nerd-o-licious intent was to see if our clients — companies who are engaged in an ongoing collaborative relationship with their consumers — are doing any better than the rest of the companies out there.The Index by no means shows causality between our work and the share performance of any given company. However, it does say some pretty interesting things:
Peer-to-peer businesses have a new voice as they go up against traditional industries and, in some cases, government regulations.Airbnb, Lyft, and TaskRabbit are among the companies that have partnered with Peers, a nonprofit that plans to organize sharing-economy users.The newly formed organization made its debut on Wednesday.Executive Director Natalie Foster said the goal of the organization is to promote and protect the businesses and groups that allow people to share goods and services. This means holding events to bring together advocates and users for "community-building" and providing a place for them to share stories and talk about related topics, which includes legislation or local regulations.
Ford and Toyota announced this week they are going their separate ways after teaming up in 2011 to develop a hybrid gasoline-electric powertrain system for light-duty trucks. After completing a feasibility study of their collaboration, the companies have decided to proceed on development of individual hybrid systems, according to Toyota.
Driving the systemic changes necessary for us to flourish — both as people and as businesses — requires more capabilities than any organization, regardless of size, can achieve alone. It requires new types of partnerships, be they cross-functional, cross-sector, or otherwise inclusive of all necessary expertise. This channel follows the growing amount of collaborative work bringing about massive, disruptive, needed shifts to business as usual.
What makes a company like GSK give away information about thousands of potential malaria-treating drugs? Why did Nike spend 6 million USD developing their Enironmental Design Apparel Tool (minimising the impact of their products in the design process) and subsequent MAKING design app only to give them away for others to use?
Coca-Cola has announced a new set of environmental goals, including returning 100 percent of the water from its manufacturing facilities back to the environment at a level that supports aquatic life by 2020.Coca-Cola says it is extending its nearly decade-long partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to achieve these new conservation and performance targets, promoting the integration of nature’s value into decision-making processes and convening influential partners to help solve shared global environmental challenges.Under the renewed and expanded partnership, Coca-Cola and WWF jointly developed new sustainability goals for the Coca-Cola system — the Company and its nearly 300 bottling partners in more than 200 countries.These goals include:
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) has announced a partnership with the Global Travel & Tourism Partnership (GTTP) to launch an industry philanthropic initiative aimed at promoting sustainable tourism development and educating secondary school students on career opportunities in travel and tourism in more than 5,600 schools across 11 countries.As part of the agreement, GSTC will endorse GTTP curricular materials and GSTC members will have an opportunity to mentor GTTP students about sustainability practices in the travel and tourism industry. GTTP will endorse the mission of the GSTC and reference its Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria in GTTP curricular materials.
General Motors and Honda have announced a partnership to share expertise, economies of scale and common sourcing strategies to co-develop next-generation fuel cell system and hydrogen storage technologies by 2020.The automotive companies plan to work together with stakeholders to further advance refueling infrastructure, which they claim is critical for the long-term viability and consumer acceptance of fuel cell vehicles.“This collaboration builds upon Honda and GM’s strengths as leaders in hydrogen fuel cell technology,” said Dan Akerson, GM chairman and CEO. “We are convinced this is the best way to develop this important technology, which has the potential to help reduce the dependence on petroleum and establish sustainable mobility.”
Earlier this month, Mayor Edwin M. Lee and Board President David Chiu announced a first-of-its-kind partnership between San Francisco’s growing sharing economy and local government, focused on disaster preparedness and response. Mayor Lee has invited BayShare, a collaborative of sharing economy stakeholders, to join San Francisco’s Disaster Council, through which it will share its skills and resources to make San Francisco a more resilient city.
Chevron, Johnson & Johnson and BD announced at the GBCHealth Annual Conference earlier this month commitments to combat HIV/AIDS, improve maternal and child health and advance tuberculosis initiatives, respectively.The U.S. and Swedish governments and other partners also announced a program to facilitate the delivery of lifesaving health supplies such as bed nets, medicines and contraceptives to 126 low- and middle-income countries.
Bumble Bee Foods today announced the introduction of Wild Selections® – a new line of products certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Wild Selections® will support World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) efforts to protect marine life, expand sustainable fishing practices globally and help build continued awareness of the MSC-certified seafood program. Announcing the promotion with WWF and MSC and the arrival of the new product line at the European Seafood Exposition in Brussels, Bumble Bee President and CEO Chris Lischewski said that the company is committing thirteen cents per can, for a minimum of $1 million, to WWF from the sale of Wild Selections® products over the next five years.
Cross-Posted from The Next Economy.
A group of energy companies, philanthropic foundations and environmental groups have formed a new organization providing shale gas producers with performance standards certification for shale development.
Seven global organizations are jointly launching today the world’s first practitioner’s guide to sustainable sourcing of agricultural raw materials. The guide is an open-source innovation tool that captures best practices and experiences from global corporations within a strategic, business logic-focused framework; the goal is to empower managers by providing a user-friendly, step-by-step roadmap to building and rolling out sustainable agriculture sourcing strategies effectively.
Ford announced a strategic collaboration that aims to demonstrate how a typical American family can significantly reduce their electricity bills and carbon footprint by integrating home appliance technology with a plug-in vehicle and solar power to achieve an energy-efficient lifestyle.