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Marketing and Comms

How brands are evolving in the area of sustainability marketing and communications — and how their stakeholders are asserting their own needs and preferences.

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Panera Serves Up the 'Sweet Facts' in New Transparency Initiative

Overconsumption of added sugar is the latest issue to preoccupy the food industry. On the heels of the launch of KIND Healthy Snacks’ Fruit Bites, for which the brand filled New York City’s Times Square with over 45,000 pounds of sugar in a bid to draw attention to the 4.7 billion pounds of sugar consumed by children each year, Panera Bread has announced a new nutrition education scheme that will put the ‘sweet facts’ about its products right into the hands of consumers.

KIND Piles 45K Lbs of Sugar in Times Square to Illustrate Need for Better Snacks

Times Square has housed plenty of eye-catching sights over the years, but this might be the sweetest. In a bid to create buzz around its new product and the amount of added sugar consumed by children in the US each year — a whopping 4.7 billion pounds — KIND Healthy Snacks installed a towering pile of sugar — 45,485 pounds of it — in the heart of the highly trafficked square, stopping professionals and tourists alike in their tracks. The educational installation comes in the midst of back-to-school madness and visually represents how much added sugar kids in the US eat every 5 minutes.

Now All of Giant's Customers Can Understand 'HowGood' Their Food Choices Really Are

Transparency hasn’t always been a strong point for the food industry, but a new partnership between HowGood, a research organization and in-store rating system that identifies industry leaders in the food system, and supermarket chain Giant Food could serve as a turning point for the sector. The relationship, which started as a test pilot in Giant stores in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan area, is expanding to all Giant stores due to positive customer feedback on the program.

How Companies Brought Attention to the Pollinator Decline

In the lead-up to National Honey Bee Day (August 19), I was inspired to take a look at brands’ recent efforts to ensure the health and stability of our tiny pollinator friends. In the past few years, we have seen a host of organizations garnering attention for the issue, first with research and later, amped-up efforts with highly visible, consumer-facing campaigns to bridge the awareness gap.

Molson Coors Aims to 'Raise the Bar on Beer' With New 2025 Sustainability Goals

Molson Coors Brewing Company has released its 2017 Our Beer Print report, announcing a bold, new sustainability strategy and goals to guide the company through 2025. This is the first sustainability report released since Molson Coors closed on the acquisition of MillerCoors from SABMiller in October 2016, making it one of the world’s largest global brewers.

The North Face Targets Inclusivity with New Social Impact Campaign

Walls have conventionally been viewed as objects that divide, an idea that has intensified in this new era. But to The North Face, walls are places where people in the climbing community come together to test themselves, build trust and strengthen their bonds. They aren’t meant to divide us, but rather to unite us.

In Chile, a Dolphin Is Running for President to Highlight Need for Strong Climate Leadership

Greenpeace has a knack for creatively communicating about its causes and its latest campaign is no exception. The NGO is backing a dolphin in Chile’s upcoming presidential election to call attention to the need for strong climate leadership in the country.

First-Ever Lawsuit Over ‘Inadequate’ Climate Risk Disclosure Could Set New Precedent for Businesses

It is becoming increasingly important for companies to disclose information about long-term climate risks as more and more investors are using this information to inform financial decisions. While a general shift towards transparency is taking shape, many businesses still lag behind in sharing information about their environmental performance and impacts — as well as the consequences of a changing climate on their operations. However, the launch of the world’s first-ever climate disclosure lawsuit could help accelerate the uptake of the practice.

The 2 Most Important Pages of Your Sustainability Report

We’ve done a lot of thinking, and writing, over the years about the broad topic of corporate sustainability and citizenship reporting (see here and here for examples). But for this post, I’m going to narrow the focus to what I believe are the two most important pages of your report: the CEO Letter. Why? Simply put: It’s concise, it comes from the top, and (if properly constructed) it provides readers with critical insight into your citizenship approach — all in the span of one or two (hopefully not three) pages.

Green & Black's, Cadbury Swap Out Fairtrade for In-House Cocoa Life Verification Scheme

Earlier this summer, British supermarket group Sainsbury’s inspired a flurry of criticism after launching its own in-house sustainability standard, ‘Fairly Traded.’ At the time of the announcement, The Fairtrade Foundation suggested the new model could bring about disempowerment — and set a dangerous precedent.

Heineken Aims to Fight Report Fatigue by Sharing Sustainability Highlights in GIF Form

Earlier this year, Heineken released its 2016 Annual Report, marking the first time the company has combined its annual and sustainability reports into one document. To mark the launch of the report in the United States, the company tapped creative agency Nice and Serious to create a series of GIFs in an effort to make the content more relatable and interesting to target audiences.

Shareholders Increasingly Placing Pressure on Companies to Address Deforestation

Sustainability and climate risk are increasingly becoming important considerations for investors, a trend that is driving the world’s largest companies to commit to reducing their impact on global forests, says a new analysis of shareholder resolutions published by the Global Canopy Program.

New Research Sheds Light on Meaning of ‘Natural’ Food

The vague and often overstated use of the term “natural,” which lacks a universally accepted definition, has resulted in considerable confusion among consumers. A new study conducted by the Hero Group, parent company of baby food brand Beech-Nut Nutrition, hopes to address the problem by shedding light on how consumers understand the term.

The 'Dirty Words' of Sustainability Messaging: Why We Need a New Approach

It’s no surprise that people simply do not want to talk about sustainability — and why it’s important in the first place.

Stella McCartney Fall Campaign Targets Overconsumption, Waste

Stella McCartney has long been an advocate for sustainable, ethical fashion; the luxury label has been busy over the last several months trying to drive the industry away from a take-make-waste model, announcing plans to use Parley for the Oceans’ recycled plastic yarn and Aquafil’s ECONYL® fiber, made from 100 percent regenerated nylon waste, in its line of shoes, accessories and outerwear

Trending: New Netflix Films Tackle Climate Change, Factory Farming, GMOs

Netflix has become somewhat of a cultural phenomenon, quickly emerging as an essential for Gen Z, Millennials and Baby Boomers alike. While shows such as "House of Cards" and "Thirteen Reasons Why" are the entertainment hub’s bread and butter, Netflix is now hoping to leverage its influence to turn viewers’ attention towards critical environmental and social issues. The network has signed on two new films that seek to bring the issues surrounding climate change and GMOs to the mainstream.

Cannes Lions: Worst Year Ever Was Best Year Yet for Goodvertising

Leaving Cannes last week, I felt even more schizophrenic than I did during my hard-working years in ad land. On the one hand, it’s been the best year ever in the Festival’s history for advertising that does more than sell snake oil - call it ‘Goodvertising,’ if you will. On the other, it seems like most agencies and marketers are treating the biggest issues of our time as a new trend, as if doing good is simply the ‘new black’ or perhaps pink (judging from the number of women’s equality campaigns on show).

C40 Mayors Urge G20 Leaders to Work with Cities to Tackle Climate Change

Mayors of 52 of the world’s largest cities, representing more than 275 million citizens, have called upon G20 leaders to address climate change at the upcoming G20 Summit.

Why the Climate Movement Needs an Attitude Adjustment

How do we stop climate change? This is the question of our generation: If we can answer it, we can stop the worst from happening — megadroughts, famine, cities sunk beneath the sea, and more.

Trending: Pro-Ocean Orgs Use YouTube, Video Games, Fashion to Educate Consumers About Marine Plastics

Eight million tons of plastic trash find their way into the world’s oceans every year. If this trend continues, there could be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050 according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Considerable action is required to avoid this fate, but more and more organizations are beginning to step up to the plate. Creative campaigns that seek to engage consumers through multi-media and innovative products are proving to be an effective way to reach and educate wide audiences quickly, accelerating the uptake of behaviors and actions that could spur meaningful change.

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