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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.

New Campaign Encouraging Brits to 'Smart Swap' Healthier Food Criticized for Shortsightedness

Cross-Posted from Behavior Change. Last week, Public Health England unveiled its latest Change4Life campaign, which this year focuses on getting people throughout England and Wales to “Smart Swap” fatty or sugary foods for healthier alternatives.The campaign recognizes that it’s unrealistic to expect people to immediately switch from chocolate to fruit, for example, so it is hoping to incentivize making smarter food choices by offering participants money-saving vouchers for healthier foods and drinks and in-store offers from partner retailers such as Asda, Co-operative Food, Lidl and Aldi.

Consumers, Activists Declare Victory as General Mills Commits to Non-GMO Cheerios

GMO Inside, a campaign of national non-profit organization Green America, celebrated a victory yesterday after target General Mills announced that its original Cheerios cereal would now be produced without the use of GMOs.

McDonald's Pulls Employee McResource Site After Scrutiny Over Misguided Lifestyle Advice

As you may remember, McDonald's announced in September a partnership with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, to increase customers' access to fruit and vegetables and promote these healthier options to help families and children to make informed dining choices. In keeping with this commitment, the fast-food giant attempted to do the same for its employees earlier this month by pointing out the difference between items such as a burger and fries and “healthier options,” apparently missing the irony of the situation.

Enough with the Semantics! Let's Get Down to Business

I have a bit of a bone to pick. Over the past couple of years, numerous well-intended articles have attempted to crystallize a moniker and definition for the work that we do. Universal language might help guide our efforts, but I don’t think we’re far enough down that road to worry about arriving at a consensus.

Fashion Revolution Day: A Global Movement to Clean Up an Industry

For those within the fashion industry who have been working for many years to highlight the need for more transparent, traceable and accountable supply chains, the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh was a metaphorical call to arms. The days following the tragedy saw a plethora of articles calling for a more ethical fashion industry and we looked for ways to channel this energy and momentum into lasting change.

Stopping Global Deforestation: How to Turn Around a Giant (Part 1 of 2)

This is the third in a series of excerpts from Engaging Outraged Stakeholders: A How-To Guide for Uniting the Left, Right, Capitalists and Activists (Affinity Press, 2013), the new book from Future 500. Earlier this month, we posted the beginning of Chapter Two: The Power of Engagement, and learned six reasons to engage your activist stakeholders. Here we continue further into Chapter Two to examine one of seven examples of how engaging activists stakeholders has helped companies serve their purpose.

Kid President Continues to Spread His Infectious Brand of Cheer for the Holidays

Kid President, whose viral “pep talk” we loved so much we showed it onstage at SB ’13 in June, is back this holiday season with a pertinent question: What if we all gave a gift that made the world a little bit better?The wise young sage, aka 10-year-old Robby Novak, is on a mission this holiday season to make sure we remember what’s important: The perfect gifts include those that spread love, save lives and make the world more awesome.

Engaging Outraged Stakeholders: The Power of Engagement (Part 2 of 2)

This is the second in a series of excerpts from Engaging Outraged Stakeholders: A How-To Guide for Uniting the Left, Right, Capitalists and Activists (Affinity Press, 2013), the new book from Future 500, co-written by CEO Bill Shireman, COO Erik Wohlgemuth and VP of Stakeholder Engagement Danna Pfahl. Last week, we posted the first part of Chapter Two: The Power of Engagement and learned two of six reasons to engage your activist stakeholders. Here, we continue with reason number three ....

Mosaic and Mark Ruffalo Make New Year's Resolution to 'Put Solar on It'

Mosaic, the first U.S. company to crowdsource investments for solar projects, is kicking off 2014 with a New Year’s Resolution campaign to “Put Solar on It.” The campaign invites anyone to pledge to put solar on a local home, school, place of worship, business or other property on Throughout 2014, Mosaic says it will provide people with the tools and network they need to make their pledge a reality.Oscar-nominated actor Mark Ruffalo is leading the campaign with his pledge to put solar on his children’s school, Stephen Gaynor Elementary, in Manhattan.

Pantene's 'Be Strong and Shine' Message Empowering Some, But Raising Feminists' Hackles

A 60-second ad released by Pantene last month in the Philippines called "Be Strong and Shine," which tackles the dichotomy of gender labels, has gone viral far beyond the island country, with more than 5.9 million views and thousands of comments to date from around the world, according to Pantene parent company Procter & Gamble.The video exposes hidden gender double standards in the workplace — a prevalent theme, not just in Filipino culture, where the notion still exists that women should not be too assertive or strong-willed when it comes to getting what they want. But does the connection of the ad’s message to using Pantene products diminish its power?

Scientists Think Santa's Carbon Footprint Should Earn Him Some Coal in His Stocking

In an interesting yet ‘bah humbug’ kind of study, a group of scientists at the University of Leeds' School of Earth & Environment got together and calculated that Santa's carbon footprint from delivering Christmas gifts to the UK alone could be as high as 9 tons per stocking — 25 permits more than the average Brit emits in a year. As part of the University's work with Yorkshire-based sustainability charity the United Bank of Carbon (UBC), the academics set out to highlight the possible environmental damage caused not only by Santa's sleigh and eight reindeer but the manufacturing of the presents themselves.

Call for Entries: Business in the Community's 'Engaging Customers on Sustainability' Award

Business in the Community (BITC), the UK's business-led charity championing corporate social responsibility, is calling for entries from businesses engaging customers on sustainability.

The Tricentennial of Sustainability Management

Cross-Posted from Leadership. As 2013 comes rapidly to a close, it is worth noting, I think, that this was arguably the three hundredth anniversary of sustainability management, the formal discipline, as we know it. Indeed, the concept of sustainability management in commerce first appeared in 1713 in a book written by Hans Carl von Carlowitz (Sylvicultura Oeconomica, 1713), a Saxon tax accountant and mining administrator who more or less invented the practice of sustainable forestry.

Microsoft Releases Carbon Fee Playbook

Earlier this month, the CDP released a report highlighting 29 public U.S. companies across various industries that have incorporated an internal carbon price as a strategic planning tool, effectively holding themselves accountable for the carbon emissions produced as a result of daily operations.

Caesars Reports Strides in Energy & Waste Reductions, Commitment to 'Vibrant Communities'

In 2012, Caesars Entertainment Corporation achieved a total savings of roughly 750 million kWh since its benchmark year in 2007, representing an 8.5 percent absolute reduction in electricity and gas. The savings equal enough energy to power a community of more than 30,000 during this period. Additional details of the company’s efforts and commitment to enhance the environment, employee well-being, guest experience and economic development are available in Caesars’ fourth CSR and Sustainability Report, Vibrant Communities, released today.

Ford Foresees Going Back to Basics as a Top Consumer Trend in 2014

On Thursday, Ford Motor Company released its second annual trend report for the upcoming year. Among the top 10 predicted global consumer trends on the list: Consumers reevaluating their relationships with technology, balancing the need to be constantly plugged in with a new appreciation for spending quality time offline.Looking Further with Ford 2014 highlights 10 trends for the new year that explore how the technology explosion will affect consumer choices and behaviors.

5 Things Children Need to Know About Brands

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. Advertising's big spenders are ramping up for their favourite time of the year. The marketing machine that amplifies the magic of Christmas is swinging into action and it's an awesome sight to behold. Christmas is getting bigger and bigger each year. In the United States, Black Friday signals the beginning of a festive spending spree that last year was estimated at nearly $60 billion, a rise of over 10 percent on the previous year.

Engaging Outraged Stakeholders: The Power of Engagement (Part 1 of 2)

This is the first in a series of excerpts from Engaging Outraged Stakeholders: A How-To Guide for Uniting the Left, Right, Capitalists and Activists (Affinity Press, 2013), the new book from Future 500, co-written by CEO Bill Shireman, COO Erik Wohlgemuth and VP of Stakeholder Engagement Danna Pfahl. We begin with the first of two posts that make up Chapter Two: The Power of Engagement.

Emotion v. Action: 4 Key Engagement Lessons from Unilever's Project Sunlight

Unilever has been a clear leader in sustainability with its ambition and actions against its Sustainable Living Plan, and has just started its first consumer-facing corporate brand campaign around this, called Project Sunlight. At Given London we have noticed a step-change in the number of corporate brand teams seeking to facilitate more sustainable lifestyles for their customers.

Could You Join Unilever, M&S and Nike in #theBigShift?

Cross-Posted from Collaboration. In sustainability, the 'lone wolf' will soon be a thing of the past, as collaboration becomes increasingly necessary to make real changes.In October, Dell outlined its 2020 Legacy of Good plan, but admitted that it wouldn't be able to achieve its ambitious goals alone.Step in #theBIGshift — Forum for the Future's latest (and potentially biggest) initiative aims to transform the key systems that we rely on, and champion the rewards for those businesses and other organizations who are stepping up to the challenge of creating a sustainable future.


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