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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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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.

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.

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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?

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.

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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.

New Documentary 'Sparks' Collaboration That Could Benefit People in Need Locally and Globally

At the dawn of the 21st century, America’s spiraling energy consumption hijacks our democracy and gambles our planet’s future. Meanwhile, 50 million Americans live in poverty, while our government stalls behind party lines. Next spring a new documentary, The Spark, will reveal a blueprint for realistic, immediate solutions.

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Retailers, Manufacturers Launching Consumer Water Efficiency Label for Bathroom Products

A group of leading DIY retailers, builders’ merchants and manufacturers in the UK – including Argos, B&Q, Chandlers’ Building Supplies, Homebase, Travis Perkins, Saint Gobain, Wolseley UK and Southern Water — are joining forces to launch a voluntary labelling scheme to help consumers identify the water efficiency of bathroom fittings such as taps, showers, toilets and baths, according to the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP).

The Top 8 Things We Learned from Marks & Spencer's 2013 Plan A Report

Year after year, Marks & Spencer sets a high standard for environmental sustainability in the UK retail world. Its large scale and high level of social consciousness give it the unique position to promote change throughout the industry. As a part of its Plan A initiative, launched in January 2007, M&S makes a varied range of responsibility efforts, from beach-cleaning and cancer fundraising to recycling programs and organic produce.Let’s take a look at the year's most important changes and surprises, as revealed in the company's recently released 2013 Plan A Report:

Playing the Big Game: Are We Branding for Sustainability?

When it comes to sustainable brands, we can play the big game or the small game. What I call “Branding of Sustainability” is the small game. It simply means applying old-school brand action, such as advertising and other marketing communications, even leading-edge techniques, to brands that are already sustainable. But “Branding for Sustainability” is the big game. It is about applying new-school brand thinking to the entire world of the brand, starting with discovering and defining brand-specific paths to sustainability itself. Much like its close relative, design thinking, brand thinking starts at the cradle and brings stakeholders and end users to the table, making everyone an insider to a degree, not merely guests at the party at the end.

Listen Up: How One Brand Learned That Greenwashing Is Never an 'Ethical Choice'

Behaviour change starts with listening. Here in New Zealand, a major global brand may have started listening for the first time in recent weeks: Dole have both made a U-turn and reached out to critics in an apparent desire to understand where they went wrong in this market and how they might set things right.

Three Tips for Successful Rebranding

In the early 2000s, revered British clothing brand Burberry was experiencing some hiccups. For decades, the Burberry name had been synonymous with English culture, but as the 20th century moved into the 21st, the company began to overextend itself. Expanding beyond trench coats and umbrellas, Burberry's name and trademark beige tartan plaid were soon plastered on every item of clothing that could support them. Without a clear vision, the name suffered: Even with the rich history behind the line, customers began viewing the clothing in a different light, and before long, Burberry was more closely associated with England’s gangster culture than with tea and crumpets.

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