A factor critical to the development of any mission-driven brand is the nature of the ecosystem to which it belongs. A community that holistically embraces the philosophies of sustainable development offers ideal grounds for development of the business ideologies, spirit and camaraderie vital for propagation of any sustainable brand.The metropolitan Chicago area, also known as Chicagoland, is proving to be one such community in the U.S. Driven towards creating a sustainable economy and region, these considerations are taking center stage in the region’s regulatory, business and community development policies and strategies.
Monsanto on Friday announced that it has joined a multi-stakeholder coalition aimed at improving health in honey bee populations, which includes agriculture commodity groups, industry groups, government agencies, environmental NGOs and agriculture companies.The coalition will have four priority areas of focus:
Choosing the right NGO partner can be a little like speed dating.When it comes to shifting your business to a brighter, better future, placard-waving eco-activists may not be the first to pop to mind as a suitable partner. But many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are well-positioned to help leading brands develop innovative solutions that deliver a competitive edge. Of course, as with any business partnership or personal relationship, take time to assess your options before getting involved with an NGO. As they say, there are plenty of fish in the sea — you just need to catch the right one.
CVS recently announced a partnership with health and well-being company Humana to help customers make sense of their healthcare coverage options under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).Starting this month, Humana representatives will be present at CVS’s Project Health events, where individuals can receive free health screenings to check blood pressure, body mass index, glucose, total cholesterol and even receive oral or dental care. During October and November, Humana representatives will be available to answer questions about health coverage under ACA at 80 Project Health weekly events in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan and Texas.
Nearly two-dozen major U.S. companies and nearly 50 investors with more than $900 billion in collective assets announced their support last week for new carbon pollution standards proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for new power plants. The group, which includes Unilever, Levi Strauss & Co., Symantec, Patagonia, The North Face and the country’s largest public pension fund, CalPERS, urged President Obama to finalize the rule soon and proceed with plans to reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants. The standards are open to public comment.
Last Thursday at the Bronx Zoo, the United Nations hosted an event to celebrate the five-year anniversary of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) program and its offshoot REDD+.
Mondelez International has announced an agreement with the Indonesian Coffee and Cocoa Research Institute (ICCRI) and suppliers Armajaro and Olam to promote sustainable Indonesian cocoa farming, improve cocoa bean quality and support the development of Indonesian cocoa communities.
Solazyme, maker of algae-based oils and bioproducts, today announced a commercial supply agreement with Unilever for the first partnered Solazyme Tailored™ Algal Oil, a culmination of five years of collaboration between the companies. The agreement covers the first of Solazyme and Unilever's jointly developed tailored oils with an initial supply of at least 10,000 metric tons (MT), which Unilever says it will use in its Dove and Brylcreem brand personal care products, according to the New York Times.
The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) today announced the launch of SNAP (Science for Nature and People), a collaboration aimed at solving the world’s most pressing conservation and human development challenges. The announcement was made at the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative.SNAP is designed to find practical, knowledge-based ways in which the conservation of nature can help provide food, water, energy and security to Earth's fast-growing population. SNAP will tackle high-profile problems where the solution has a clear pathway to implementation.
Business calls for strong climate change action are getting louder. A half-dozen more leading global companies including Microsoft, Owens Corning, Diageo, Thornton Tomasetti, and Acer America Corporation last week joined hundreds of other U.S. businesses in signing the Climate Declaration, which calls on federal policymakers to seize the economic opportunity of addressing climate change, according to CERES.
On July 15, the sharing economy shifted with the launch of Peers: The movement became more centralized and acquired a more powerful voice. An advocacy group that strives to involve sharing economy users in conversations between business and regulators, Peers is a collaboration between leaders in the industry such as Airbnb, Zipcar, Meetup and TaskRabbit with an internal team experienced in entrepreneurship and organizing for social causes.
The USDA and Coca-Cola Americas have announced a public-private partnership to restore and protect damaged watersheds on national lands. The goal is to return more than a billion liters of water to the National Forest System, which provides drinking water to more than 60 million Americans. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and CCA president Steve Cahillane made the announcement last week at Midewin Tallgrass Prairie in Illinois.
Today, Unilever announced an international awards program designed to inspire young people around the world to tackle environmental, social and health issues. Presented in partnership with the Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership (CPSL), the Unilever Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneur Awards, a competition hosted on the Ashoka Changemakers platform, will offer the winner the HRH The Prince of Wales Young Sustainability Entrepreneur Prize.
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.