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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Monadnock Paper Mills Wins EPA 2013 Environmental Merit Award

Family-owned paper company Monadnock Paper Mills has been recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a recipient of a 2013 Environmental Merit Award for its significant contributions to environmental awareness and problem solving.Awarded annually by the EPA since 1970, the Environmental Merit Awards recognize individuals and organizations whose work has protected or improved the environment in distinct ways. A winner in the Business, Industry, Trade or Professional category for the State of New Hampshire, Monadnock has been highlighted for the following achievements:

Marriott Pledges to Create Sustainable Development, Jobs as It Grows in Emerging Markets

Marriott International recently released its 2013 Sustainability Report update, which claims the company reduced global water usage by 12 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by 16.5 percent in 2012.The international hotel chain also says it is looking to move beyond its current global footprint of more than 3,800 hotels in over 70 countries and focus on providing sustainable economic activity and local employment. In coming years, more than half of its new hotels will be located in emerging markets, where tourism is a major driver of new jobs and economic development.

FTC to Mattress Companies: Don't Pad Your Green Claims

If you or your clients make environmental marketing claims, don’t sleep on three actions the FTC just announced against companies that sell mattresses. What's more, the pleadings in one case offer insights into a course of conduct advertisers should avoid in the use of seals and certifications.

Intel, Microsoft and Kohl’s Top EPA’s Green Power Rankings

Intel recently topped the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power list of partner organizations utilizing renewable energy. The technology and telecom company uses renewables such as biogas, biomass, small-hydro, solar and wind to generate more than 3.1 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of clean energy each year.Microsoft came in second, producing just under 2 billion kWh, and Kohl's a close third, generating over 1.5 billion kWh.

PepsiCo No Longer Labeling Naked Juices as ‘All Natural’

PepsiCo has announced that it will no longer label its Naked juices as being ‘‘all natural,’’ after paying $9 million to settle a lawsuit that claimed the drinks contain artificial ingredients.The company said in an email statement that it uses an ‘‘added boost of vitamins’’ in some of the drinks. However, a lawsuit filed against the company said the vitamins are actually synthetic ingredients, which includes a fiber made by Archer Daniels Midland. While PepsiCo did not confirm or deny that these synthetic fibers are included in the juices, the company is dropping the use of the word ‘‘natural’’ until more solid regulatory guidance emerges.

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Energy Sector Shareholders Continue to Push Companies to Address Climate, Fossil Fuels

Investors have achieved notable victories during this year’s shareholder proxy season, with a near record 110 shareholder resolutions filed with 94 U.S. companies on hydraulic fracturing, flaring, fossil fuel reserve risks and other climate- and sustainability-related risks and opportunities.The majority of resolutions filed within the energy sector focused on strategies recently promoted by the International Energy Agency in its report, Redrawing the Energy-Climate Map, to reduce sector-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at no net economic cost, and in some cases, economic gain.Some of these strategies include:

Why Be a B Corp? Ask a Millennial

Every year, four million Millennials — Generation Y, born between 1982 and 2002 — set out on their own to join the workforce. This generation, which makes up about quarter of today’s population, is one of the most diverse, technologically connected and well-educated group in history — and they have strong opinions about corporate authenticity, transparency and responsibility. According to a recent survey by Net Impact, eighty percent of 13-25-year-olds want to work for a company that cares about its impacts.

Beanfields Snacks Awarded B Corporation Status

Bean and rice tortilla chip maker Beanfields Snacks has achieved its certification as a B Corporation.The family-owned company joins Ben and Jerry’s, Etsy, Patagonia and hundreds of others companies worldwide using the power of business to tackle social and environmental problems.

Molson Coors Sustainability Report Details Successes, Failures, Next Steps in Improving Its 'Beer Print'

On Tuesday, Molson Coors Brewing Company released its 2013 Corporate Responsibility Report, covering the company’s performance in five key areas: Governance and Ethics, Alcohol Responsibility, Environmental Stewardship, Employees and Community and Responsible Sourcing.The report highlights significant savings of energy, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, water consumption and waste to landfill based on targets the company set in 2008.

Ford Becomes First Automaker to Join Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program in India

Ford Motor Company announced today it is taking another major step toward helping stabilize carbon dioxide emissions globally, becoming the first automaker to join a voluntary greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting program recently established in India. The company already participates in similar programs in the United States, China, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.

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Delaware Combines Power of Business and Social Good With New Benefit Corporation Legislation

As The New Metrics of Sustainable Business Conference draws closer, we will be building up the conversation around industry developments to explore future investments in sustainability. One of the latest developments is the enactment of benefit corporation legislation in Delaware on July 17th. Benefit corporation legislation seeks to protect for-profit companies that want to do well and do good at the same time, by allowing them the freedom to pursue higher corporate purposes, aside from maximizing profits.While DE is the 18th state to sign benefit corporation legislation into law, it is undoubtedly one of the most important states to do so.

How to Assess Credibility in a Sea of Ecolabels

More and more products on supermarket shelves bear sustainability claims, promising everything from biodegradable household cleaners to bird-friendly coffee. But with over 400 ecolabels on the market (according to the Ecolabel Index) it can be difficult for any company, consumer or government to know which to trust, given the array of promises and limited evidence of benefits.

Key Global Stakeholders Express Support for REDD+ Protocol in California's Climate Policy

As the California Air Resources Board prepares to consider moving forward on international initiatives to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation & Forest Degradation (REDD+) within the state's climate policy, a large consortium of key stakeholders — from multinational corporations to global NGOs and indigenous community leaders — have rallied in support of REDD+.

Inditex Re-Affirms Its Commitment to Sustainability, Health & Safety

Spanish multinational clothing company Inditex says that in 2012 it conducted nearly 1.5 million tests on its clothing worldwide to ensure health and safety standards, as well as carrying out more than 3,500 audits on suppliers under its Code of Conduct.Inditex chairman Pablo Isla made the announcements this week at the company’s Annual General Meeting at its headquarters in Arteixo, La Coruña, Spain.

"With Great Power ...": How to Give Consumers Formal Responsibility for Addressing Sustainability

The Internet and by extension social media have made it possible for consumers to obtain information easily and to voice their opinions about products, companies, and people. Consumers also have the power to speak directly to product and service providers in a way that was previously unheard of. It was Voltaire that said, “With great power comes great responsibility” — with that power what is the consumer’s great responsibility?

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Unilever, Molson Coors, Co-operative Top Sustainability Champion Awards

The Co-operative Group, Unilever and Molson Coors are among the winners of the 2degrees 2013 Sustainability Champions Awards, which each year recognizes success in the execution of sustainability initiatives.

Branding for Sustainability: A Manifesto!

I wrote recently about branding for sustainability, rather than the branding of sustainability. The main point is that branding is no longer merely about communication techniques that get tacked on to a business. Instead, branding shapes the entire landscape of engagement, experience and affinity between a company or other entity and its customers and other stakeholders or audiences. So it’s time for a manifesto.

New 'I Want to Be Recycled' Campaign Targeting 62% of Americans Who Are Not Avid Recyclers

The average American produces 4.4 pounds of trash a day, and on the whole the United States produces over 250 million tons of trash a year. However, only about 35 percent is currently recycled, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). To address this national concern, the Ad Council and Keep America Beautiful (KAB) today launched a public service advertising (PSA) campaign designed to raise awareness about the benefits of recycling with the goal to make recycling a daily social norm.

Stop Speaking Martian: How to Effectively Translate the Language of Sustainability

As the sustainability profession grapples with how it can invite and entice a new internal conversation with a broader, ‘beyond-sustainability-silo’ brand and business audience, we are struggling with many fundamental challenges. Language is one of these. But why so?

Volkswagen Wants Brands, Plants to 'Think Blue' for Sustainability Leadership

Volkswagen finished last of the global automakers that occupied five of the top seven spots in Interbrand's recently released Best Global Green Brands 2013 report. That was a pretty good showing, but the German giant seems determined to hoist itself even higher in terms of the effectiveness of its sustainability efforts — and regard for them — around the globe.

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