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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Spotlight on Five Tales of Sustainability Storytelling Success

Businesses worldwide are exploring the growing potential of storytelling to engage their audiences with complex social and environmental issues, inspire behaviour change and enhance brand reputation.

Communicating Sustainability at Maersk Line: Striking a Balance Between Silence and Greenwashing

Maersk Line has traditionally not been known for its sustainability efforts. Why? Well, because the company used to have a habit of hardly communicating anything externally. Previously, there had been little perceived need for communicating — and this combined with a strong value around humbleness kept the company quiet.

The Next Big Leap: Keys to a More Proactive, Creative and Brand-Branding Sustainability Strategy

No matter how often it happens, when a new idea or insight opens up entirely new pathways and possibilities in our minds, there’s always a sense of exhilaration.

What Chief Sustainability Officers Can Learn from Screenwriting

If all the world’s a stage, according to Bill Shakespeare, then one needs to look no further than the c-suite for some of its highest drama. A new, fairly misunderstood protagonist has entered this mercurial world where survival typically goes to the fittest Machiavellian mind.

Hershey Says It Will Meet or Exceed All 2015 Sustainability Targets

Hershey on Monday released its most recent CSR Scorecard, which reflects substantial progress on a range of sustainability programs and new initiatives over the past year.The company says it is on track to meet or exceed all of its 2015 sustainability targets set forth in its last full CSR Report. The latest scorecard is organized around programs and initiatives in four key areas of social responsibility: Marketplace, Environment, Workplace and Community.Some notable achievements Hershey has highlighted include:

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The Future of Sustainability Is Design, Not Communication

When it comes to building brands and driving change, effective communication is a prerequisite. Unsurprisingly then, communications are often the first port of call when it comes to the unique challenges and opportunities that sustainability represents for today’s brands.However, emerging cultural, economic and technological trends related to sustainability are forcing brands to think differently about the role of communications in their wider brand ecosystem. As is so often the case, when the game is changing this quickly, a more effective solution requires a redefinition of the problem.

Report: Environmental Externalities Cost Global Economy $4.7 Trillion Annually

Agriculture, coal power, steel manufacturing and several other high-impact business sectors face an economic loss when accounting for damages to natural capital, according to a study released by the TEEB for Business Coalition during the recent Business for the Environment Summit in New Delhi.

Sky Rainforest Rescue: Engaging Consumers to Purpose While Creating Clear Business Benefits

The trick to communicating sustainability is to start with the right ingredients. Sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Of course, we all know that it’s not so straightforward in practice.There is a raft of urgent economic, social and environmental needs out there that must be addressed. It can be tough to decide what your organisation is going to focus on. Where to begin?

Proposed Laws Would Require 'Not Recyclable' Label on Biodegradable Plastic Containers

In an effort to mitigate consumer confusion and help maintain the integrity of recyclable materials streams, three laws proposed in North Carolina and Alabama would require containers made from biodegradable or compostable plastic to be labeled “non-recyclable,” according to Plastics News.

Research: Choosing the Right Strategy for Sustainability Communications

A new report by UK-based analyst firm Verdantix says most companies have inadequate budgets for sustainability communications and are running risks by failing to integrate sustainability themes into their brand identities. The report, “Rethinking Sustainability: Brand Risks and Opportunities,” identifies five archetypes of how companies communicate about sustainability.

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Sustainable Education Brands: How Learning Institutions Are Attracting Values-Driven Students

For the centuries that tertiary education has been part of society, further education was a privilege afforded those who could afford it. But with the advancement in recent years of communication technologies and speeds, the battle for the student dollar is now being waged online.

Les Bêtises et Les Vaches: Two French Brands Use Humor To Engage Consumers in Sustainability

French consumers want to know more about where their products come from to make more sustainable choices. Besides, trust in business is higher when brands take action for sustainability, demonstrate their achievements and communicate well.

Emotion Is Currency: A Five-Point Plan for Effective Sustainability Communications

"How will it deliver value?" is a commonly heard response to a proposal for a new sustainability communications campaign.Behind this innocent little phrase is a dangerous assumption that sustainability communications is a separate strand of activity with a message aimed at a hypothetical audience segment of 'greens.'

EthicMark Awards Accepting Nominations For Best Environmental, Sustainability Campaigns

Ethical Markets, the World Business Academy (WBA) and the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business recently announced they are accepting nominations for the 9th annual EthicMark Awards for ads and media campaigns that “uplift the human spirit and society.”

Less Than 100: How Percentages Show True Understanding of Green Trends

In early March, Cone Communications teamed up with ORC International to conduct a survey of over 1,000 adults to better understand how consumers interpret and grapple with the flood of environmental information coming their way. The survey included many questions on how consumers seek out information, usage and disposal instructions, and how well they actually understand what it is that they are being told. The results are now a part of the 2013 Green Gap Trend Tracker and boil down to a series of statistics. Usually, a list of percentages can be tedious and meaningless if taken out of context.

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Communicating Sustainability: It’s Time To Get Emotional

Starting this month, Sustainable Brands will bring you a treasure trove of insight, examples and opinions on communicating sustainability, all to help you persuade, motivate, nudge and inspire people and brands to do things differently. That’s a very important goal; once impetus is established people can achieve great things.

Lost Confidence: Can Ratings Help Brands Rebuild Faith in Big Business?

A 2012 Gallup poll reported sobering news for Corporate America — only 19 percent of the public has significant confidence in big businesses, 41 percent has some and 39 percent has little or none. The only institutions doing worse in the public’s eye are HMOs and the U.S. Congress.This comes as no surprise given the plethora of corporate controversies, CEO scandals, bailouts and environmental accidents that have dominated headlines in recent years. These types of stories often overshadow the good work being done by more conscientious brands, making it difficult for them to stand apart from less-responsible competitors.

Bacardi Cuts Water Use in Half, Energy Consumption and GHGs by a Third

Bacardi Limited has achieved a nearly 50 percent drop in water usage and roughly 33 percent reductions in both energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in the last six years, according to its latest corporate responsibility report, released online Wednesday. Reductions were achieved through a combination of conservation measures that included more efficient equipment and greater use of renewable energy sources.The digital report, “Our Spirit is Clear,” embodies Bacardi’s commitment to reduce both its carbon footprint and impact on the earth’s natural resources. The company says the water saved is equivalent to providing a glass of water to every person on the planet.

An Argument for New Ideas in Storytelling, Not Just Better Stories

“The world is not made of atoms, it’s made of stories.” — Muriel Rukeyser

H&M Disclosing Supplier List Along with Sustainability Progress

H&M for the first time has made its supplier factory list public alongside its annual sustainability report, released last week.

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