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?
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.
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.
Cross-Posted from Behavior Change.
Bob Dylan understood the sustainability challenge long ago when he sang, “People seldom do what they believe in / They do what is convenient, then repent” in “Brownsville Girl.”For sustainability to become mainstream, we need to reframe the debate — in terms of both language and relevant benefits. I believe mass-market and well-loved brands are best placed to drive and accomplish this critical shift.So do we just need to leverage brands to make people care about the environment?
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.
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 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.
Cross-Posted from Collaboration.
Coca-Cola has announced a new set of environmental goals, including returning 100 percent of the water from its manufacturing facilities back to the environment at a level that supports aquatic life by 2020.Coca-Cola says it is extending its nearly decade-long partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to achieve these new conservation and performance targets, promoting the integration of nature’s value into decision-making processes and convening influential partners to help solve shared global environmental challenges.Under the renewed and expanded partnership, Coca-Cola and WWF jointly developed new sustainability goals for the Coca-Cola system — the Company and its nearly 300 bottling partners in more than 200 countries.These goals include:
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.
Cross-Posted from Collaboration.
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) has announced a partnership with the Global Travel & Tourism Partnership (GTTP) to launch an industry philanthropic initiative aimed at promoting sustainable tourism development and educating secondary school students on career opportunities in travel and tourism in more than 5,600 schools across 11 countries.As part of the agreement, GSTC will endorse GTTP curricular materials and GSTC members will have an opportunity to mentor GTTP students about sustainability practices in the travel and tourism industry. GTTP will endorse the mission of the GSTC and reference its Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria in GTTP curricular materials.
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).
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:
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.
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.
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.
Cross-Posted from Behavior Change.
When it comes to motivating behavior change, there’s nothing more powerful than the recommendations of your peers. This applies to everything from musical tastes of teenagers to brand selections among consumers to farmers in India.This power of peer influence is brought home by a study, funded by Microsoft, to determine the most effective ways for transmitting life-saving information about innovative agricultural techniques to farmers in developing communities.
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.
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.
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."