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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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Companies Reveal #BusinessCase for Sustainability Standards

Leading brands at this week’s SB ‘15 London will reaffirm that doing good is good for business. At ISEAL Alliance, we wanted to find out why companies were choosing certification as a way to meet their sustainable sourcing goals and what the business benefits are for those that do.

Hershey Giving Chocolate Lovers More Visibility Into Their Food with SmartLabel

Soon consumers in the US will come a lot closer to knowing what's in the food they buy thanks to a new standard being introduced by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA). SmartLabel was created to meet the public’s desire for more information about the products they use and consume, and Hershey is the first brand to adopt it.

Report: Millennials Key Drivers of Small Business Sustainability

Millennials will lead the way for small and medium businesses (SMBs) in future conversations and efforts around conservation, energy efficiency and environmental stewardship, according to a new survey by Cox Enterprises.The second annual Cox Conserves Sustainability Survey found that Millennials have a huge appetite for sustainability and will drive adoption of these practices. Millennials showed greater knowledge about sustainability than other age cohorts and a strong interest in implementing sustainable business practices, but noted that in their current roles, they lacked the influence needed to effect change.

New EWG Verification Identifies Personal Care Products Free of Toxic Ingredients

Environmental health non-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG) has launched its new verification program to help consumers quickly and easily identify consumer goods that do not contain toxic ingredients. The EWG VERIFIED: For Your Health™ mark will appear on personal care products and cosmetics that meet criteria set by EWG scientists.

Trending: Barbie, 'Sesame Street' Encouraging Kids to Bust Social Stereotypes

This might be the best recent trend in children’s brands. After years of being a less-than-progressive feminine role model, Barbie is on the verge of becoming the feminist icon she should be. Mattel’s latest ad features a college professor, a veterinarian, a soccer coach, a businesswoman, and a museum tour guide — all girls under the age of 10. It asks the audience, “What happens when girls are free to imagine they can be anything?”

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Why Your Company Needs a Magazine Mentality

There was a time when the only way a company could hope to talk directly with real people was through the medium of advertising or public relations. Companies felt distanced from consumers and they worried that people wouldn't take them seriously unless they could broadcast a big campaign or get their PR agency to persuade a journalist to write about them.

Report: Hotel ‘Greenwashing’ is Off-Putting to Customers

Greenwashing practices, combined with claims of corporate social responsibility, have reduced the trust of U.S. consumers who are increasingly recognizing hotels’ green claims may be self-serving, according to a new study in the Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, as reported by Eco-Business. All of this could cause hotels to lose valuable repeat customers.

Virgin Unite's Global Goals Alliance Enlisting 'People Power' to Help Fight for SDGs

The 17 Global Goals (also known as the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs) launched late last month by the United Nations (UN) aim to achieve three main objectives in the next 15 years: end extreme poverty; fight inequality and injustice; and tackle climate change. Since the launch, various companies and leaders have pledged to do their part to achieve the goals; now, the latest push is to build worldwide public awareness of the goals through various efforts to “tell everyone” (#TellEveryone), including support from scores of celebrities:

Money Talks – the Dark Secret of the Sustainability Event Circuit

“...almost all fortunes are made out of the capital and labour of other men than those who realise them.” - Lysander SpoonerDo you have to pay to play?If you are a sustainability practitioner and attend events on the topic – do you know the approach those events take to recruiting speakers, and do speakers have to pay to play? Do you know which experts are onstage because of their marketing budgets and which are there on merit?

VW Scandal a Growing-Up Time for the CSR Movement

The scandal that erupted recently around Volkswagen’s “diesel” pollution scam is going to reverberate across the corporate world − and so it should. All around the world surveys have shown that a majority of consumers care about whether the companies they buy from are “green” and “good.” Yet those same surveys show that consumers are confused as to whether the companies they buy from really are good and skeptical of company claims in this regard.

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Amazon, Panera Have Best CSR Reputations in the U.S.

Amazon, LEGO, BMW, Sanofi, Schneider Electric and Panera Bread have the best public perception for corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the United States, according to a new report by the Reputation Institute. The U.S. CSR RepTrak highlights the companies that have the best reputations for CSR among the U.S. public based on a survey conducted in Q1 2015.

'Eco-Friendly,' 'Renewable,' 'Sustainable' - Are 'Green' Buzzwords Reaching, Influencing American Consumers?

While new surveys are emerging left and right attempting to find the pulse of the ever-elusive consumer when it comes to sustainability, that stubborn attitude/behavior gap still persists. So, let’s take a few steps back … Does the growing proliferation of “green” jargon really reach a mass audience? Do these buzzwords and terms carry political baggage? Do consumers understand their meaning? And more importantly, do they stir up positive or negative feelings? Do people associate them with increased expense or better health?

Sony Pictures Television Inviting Viewers to 'Picture' a Better World, Then Help Create It

Picture streets without litter. Picture an urban oasis. Picture a beautiful forest. Picture This.Such is the goal of Sony Pictures Television Networks, which has decided to put its global reach and services to use to bring viewers' attention to the environmental issues affecting the world and rally their collective power to make a global impact.

Study: Millennials Are Strongest CSR Supporters in U.S.

Millennials are universally more engaged in corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts, according to new research from Cone Communications. This includes everything from buying products associated with a cause they care about to using their online networks to amplify social and environmental messages.The 2015 Cone Communications Millennial CSR Study reveals that more than nine-in-10 Millennials would switch brands to one associated with a cause (91% vs. 85% U.S. average) and two-thirds use social media to engage around CSR (66% vs. 53% U.S. average).

Conceptual Water Company's Bottles Are as Empty as California's Reservoirs

Designer Chris Onesto created California Water Company to highlight the state’s historic drought. The company’s water bottles are only about 6 percent full, to reflect the current capacity of California water reservoirs.“The Golden State is turning a toasty golden brown all thanks to a record drought,” reads the project’s website. “Oddly enough Southern Californians could care less. In response I created the California Water Company, bottled water that moves the drought from a startling thought into a disturbing reality.”

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Klein Asks: What If Confronting the Climate Crisis Is Our Only Chance to Build a Better World?

A documentary based on Naomi Klein’s 2014 book, This Changes Everything, a scathing indictment of capitalism as the driver of our current climate crisis, premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 13.

Want People to Read Your Sustainability Report? Add a Personal Touch

Corporate responsibility report season is upon us, and with that, we are constantly being inundated with important data — reductions in carbon emissions, savings in waste and changes in energy use. This increase in sustainability reporting is a sign that we’re all moving towards a more sustainable future, but how can you make sure that the information you’re reporting on is relatable — that it’s truly resonating? How can you ensure that your customers and consumers feel connected to your sustainability report?

5 User Experience Principles to Help Communicate Complex Ideas

With User Experience (UX), the primary objective is to remove barriers between the user and the outcome we want to create. We start by putting ourselves in the shoes of users and trying as best we can to get inside their heads so that we can approach the experience from their perspective. What kind of experience would they naturally gravitate toward? What might baffle them? What could thrill them? All of this becomes especially important when clients are trying to communicate something particularly detailed, nuanced or complex. In our experience, having a handful of solid principles to guide you can be particularly helpful.

Marketing for Social Change: How to Profitably Use Your Brand Power as a Force for Good

Today the ethical consumer market hovers between 10 and 20 percent. These numbers haven’t moved much since the term was first popularized 25 years ago. Yet market researchers such as Edelman and Ipsos Reid tell us that more than 80 percent of Canadian consumers want companies to champion social causes, lead social change and stand for something. Companies that figure out how to tap into this latent demand for corporate social purpose stand to win big.

Tutu, McKibben, Chomsky Calling for 'Mass Mobilization' to Spur Bold Climate Action at COP21

With just less than 100 days until the UN’s Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris, where leaders from more than 190 countries will gather to discuss a potential new agreement on climate change, another group has emerged, hoping to ensure a firm and actionable strategy is achieved.

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