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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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Sustainable Restaurant Association Launches Global Restaurant Rating System

The UK-based Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) this week debuted a global sustainability rating system to encourage more sustainable practices across the industry. More than 500 UK restaurants have already completed the rating system, a new international standard for the professional food community.

Report: Major Global Companies Failing To Report on GHG

The level of public disclosure of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions among the world's 800 largest companies is “unacceptably poor,” according to research published this week by the Environmental Investment Organization (EIO).

Consumers Rank Ingredient Transparency Among Most Important Issues for Brands

Horsemeat found in five percent of beef tested in the European Union. One in three fish commonly mislabeled in the United States. Up to 30 states now considering GMO labeling laws. Ingredient transparency is trending for brands looking to restore consumer trust. But how much do consumers care about what they put in, on and around their bodies?

Speaking AND Listening: The Key to Effective Stakeholder Communications

Fostering a two-way, inclusive dialogue with stakeholders is key to the success of corporate sustainability programs. But developing a communications strategy that delivers the transparency stakeholders demand, in an engaging, enriching way, is challenging.

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.

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Be a Part of Business in the Community's 'Be the Start' Month

This month, Business in the Community's Start campaign is running Be the Start — a month-long celebration and demonstration of how living sustainably is rewarding and meaningful.Over 31 days, 40+ businesses and organisations — including Marks and Spencer, Waitrose, IBM, Eurostar, Virgin Money and B&Q —will join in with the campaign to support and inspire people in their journey towards a sustainable lifestyle.

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.

Global Reporting Initiative Releasing Updated Guidelines

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) last week announced that the next generation of its Sustainability Reporting Guidelines will be unveiled at its 2013 Global Conference on Sustainability Reporting in Amsterdam on May 22.

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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:

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.

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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.

AT&T, Mattel Top CR Magazine 100 Best Corporate Citizens List

CR magazine last week released its 2013 100 Best Corporate Citizens List, which ranks companies based on disclosure and performance measures covering environment, climate change, employee relations, human rights, governance, finance and philanthropy.

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.'

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