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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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Mars Named Best Private Company in 2013 Responsible Business Awards

Mars, Incorporated has been named “Best Private Company” by the 2013 Ethical Corporation Responsible Business Awards. Ethical Corporation is a UK-based global business publication focused on global ethical business and exploring how large companies are responding to the sustainable business agenda.The Ethical Corporation Responsible Business Awards pay tribute to companies’ commitment to responsible business practices and recognizes global leaders in corporate sustainability, according to the announcement.Other categories included “Best Employee Engagement,” “Best Supplier Engagement” and “Best Sustainability Report,” which were won by Western Union, Natura and The Co-Operative, respectively.

WindMade Introduces Product Label and Calls on Consumers to 'Show You Care'

The WindMade organization has launched the first global consumer label for products made with wind energy, according to a recent announcement.The WindMade Product Label can be applied to all products using a minimum share of 75 percent of renewable energy in their total electricity consumption, with wind power representing the largest share. The announcement says a cradle-to-gate approach was adopted, which means the label will cover the entire power consumption for all product components, from the extraction of the raw materials all the way to the product leaving the factory gate.

Nickelodeon Refuses to Ban Junk-Food Ads

Children's entertainment network Nickelodeon says it will not give in to public pressure to ban advertisements for junk food despite childhood obesity concerns.The Viacom-owned network has no plans to follow in Walt Disney Co.’s footsteps, which last year said it would ban advertisements for “noncompliant” foods from its child-focused cable channels by 2015."As an entertainment company, Nickelodeon's primary mission is to make the highest quality entertainment content in the world for kids," the company wrote in response to four Democratic US senators' call for the network to change its ways, according to the New York Times. "That is our expertise. We believe strongly that we must leave the science of nutrition to the experts."

Browbeating Is Bad and Charming Isn’t Enough: Sustainability Stories Should Be All About Stakeholders

These days, many conversations about the status of sustainability in business and society seem to fall into two categories. These can be summarized as 1. It’s mainstreaming, and 2. It’s not mainstreaming, or it’s not mainstreaming enough, or as quickly or as deeply as we would like.

Forget the 'S' Word: How to Make a Sustainable Lifestyle Sexy and Aspirational

This is a call for lots less chatter, twitter and yammer about the earth’s limits and in place of those, a world of new, real and lively conversations around ‘persuasive’ limits.Let me give an example of why: According to the latest data, concentrations of carbon dioxide in the global atmosphere have reached 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in human history. The problem, however, is that that very sentence is capable of making otherwise contented people run screaming for the nearest copy of Hello magazine.

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Rhode Island Whole Foods' Produce Display Urges Consumers to Help Preserve Pivotal Pollinators

On Friday, a Whole Foods Market in University Heights, Rhode Island found an effective way to illustrate the pivotal role that bees play in our food system by removing all produce items that are dependent on bees and other pollinators, according to the company's website.The store's produce team pulled 237 of 453 products — 52 percent of the department's normal product mix, including:

Toyota, Ford and Tech Companies Top List of ‘Best Global Green Brands’

For the second year running, Toyota has topped Interbrand’s list of “Best Global Green Brands,” followed by Ford and Honda. Rounding out the rest of the top ten are Panasonic, Nissan, Johnson & Johnson, Volkswagen, Danone, Nokia and Dell. Overall, the technology sector clearly dominated.

Study: "Meaningful Brands" Outperform Stock Market by 120%

During last week’s SB’13 conference in San Diego, Havas Media unveiled new research that could provide further insight into the minds of consumers. Results released this week from Havas’ latest Meaningful Brands study statistically demonstrate that “meaningful brands” outperform the stock market by 120%. The Meaningful Brands Index (MBI) — Havas’ new metric of brand strength — is considered the first of its kind to connect human well-being with brands at a business level. It demonstrates the relationship correlation between people and brands, and how this can affect the volume of measuring, communicating and delivering increased well-being — on a personal and community level.

Storytelling the Overriding Theme on Final Day of SB '13

There was hardly an empty seat in the house for Jonah Sachs’ “crash course in masterful storytelling.” Attendees learned the history of oral tradition and why humans have used stories to take in and share information for thousands of years. Sachs shared a five-part strategy to telling stories that get shared and let everyone in the room practice telling their own stories using characters and morals that illustrated underlying core values. The session concluded with examples of successful story-based marketing campaigns, brand gifts and an overview on brand archetypes.

SB '13 Day Four Speakers, Debates, Ads and Songs Exemplify Successful Sustainability Communications

Thursday, the morning of the fourth and final day of SB ‘13, continued the week’s momentum and lived up to its “Communications” theme with a variety of rousing speakers and conversations, peppered with examples of clever and successful sustainability messaging from some of our top brands that focus on “selling behavior, not selling stuff.”

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Cone Communications Launches Tool to Measure CSR And Social Leadership

Cone Communications has launched a social media and CSR product called the CSR SocialScore, which serves as a real-time snapshot of how a brand uses social media to inform and engage stakeholders.The Boston-based public relations and marketing agency says the product helps companies equally measure their ability to “inform” and “engage” stakeholders:Inform: This portion of the score looks at a company’s online CSR reporting and baseline CSR social media presence. Quantitative data is garnered through a variety of social media monitoring, research and analytics tools.

Why You May See More Latinos Driving Priuses

Toyota is tapping into one of the nation’s fastest growing markets: Latinos — a segment that’s rising in number, purchasing power and influence — and even so, a segment that most sustainable brands seem to be entirely sidestepping.

Science-Based Carbon Targets: G4 Falters, GHG Protocol Moves Forward

"Basing your decision to have a greenhouse gas emissions target on the fact that climate science has identified a problem, and then to turn around and set a target that doesn't reflect what that science says, for us is incongruous." That’s what Kevin Rabinovitch, global sustainability director at Mars, the privately held food and beverage company,

The Two Deficits, Part Four: The Innovation Solution and the Second Productivity Revolution

This is the fourth in a series of posts that comprise Future 500 founder Bill Shireman's insightful essay, The Two Deficits: Why Conservatives and Progressives Are Both Right, from the book

The Power of Brands to Change the World, Part Three

This is the third in a three-part series by Fruitful Strategy's Jennifer Rice, in which she explores sustainable, world-changing brands. She will delve further into the topic in the workshop "Sustainable Brands 101: Integrating Sustainability at the Brand Level" at SB '13 on June 3.

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ExxonMobil Shareholders Express Concerns About Fracking

ExxonMobil, the nation’s largest natural gas producer, may finally start listening to their shareholders about hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as “fracking.” Many of the concerns people have surrounding the natural gas extraction process include the fact that toxic chemical leaks, spills and explosions could harm the health and safety of communities and the environment, and that it could lead to the contamination of drinking water for communities near and far.

Investors Continue to Express Support for Conflict Minerals Disclosure Rule

Investors representing more than $450 billion of the world’s assets released a statement today expressing their support for the "Conflict Minerals" final rule, Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, according to the Responsible Sourcing Network (RSN). The statement comes exactly a year before companies will have to send the U.S.

Whole Foods, Safeway, Trader Joe's Top Greenpeace's Newest Seafood Sustainability Scorecard

Greenpeace today released its 2013 Carting Away the Oceans (CATO) report, which evaluates and ranks supermarkets on their sustainable seafood policies.

Toyota Launches Initiative To Drive Environmental Awareness In U.S. Hispanic Community

Toyota has announced a program aimed at promoting environmental awareness in the Hispanic communities in Miami and Los Angeles while also providing the tools to continue on the path of going green.

Pure Strategies Partners With CDP To Help Companies Disclose Emissions, Reduce Climate Risks

U.S.-based sustainability consulting firm Pure Strategies this week announced a partnership with the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) to help companies that disclose emissions to CDP to minimize climate risks and impacts in their organizations, products and global supply chains.

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