Product, Service & Design Innovation

The latest products, services, design approaches and business models that are helping organizations of all sizes deliver on their sustainability ambitions and establish a new business as usual.

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Craft Brewers Dramatically Reducing Carbon Emissions by Sharing Kegs

By sharing a pool of kegs rather than owning their own, over 200 leading craft brewers have helped reduce their collective carbon footprint by over 3 million kg of CO2e in 2013. These findings, based on a study by John Heckman, Ph.D with PE International and commissioned by MicroStar Logistics, will be used as a benchmark to help the craft beer industry further minimize its carbon footprint each year.

How Comfortable Are You with Your Customers Having All the Power?

Wolff Olins and Flamingo’s Game Changers series is an annual exploration of what’s driving change in the world of brands. The latest Game Changers report, The New Mainstream, looks at the evolving ways people are consuming products and interacting with brands. The research addresses the sense of uneasiness from companies about ‘giving up control to consumers’ in the age of social media. Some business leaders are embracing it, finding new ways to connect with their customers on an individual level — but most are nervous at the thought of potentially losing control of their brand.

Apple's New HQ Could Be 'Greenest Building on the Planet,' CEO Says

Apple CEO Tim Cook claimed last week that his company’s new headquarters in Cupertino, California would be the “greenest building on the planet.”Speaking at Climate Week NYC, when asked about Apple’s efforts to reduce its impact throughout its supply chain, CEO Tim Cook reportedly said: “We’re building a new headquarters that will, I think, be the greenest building on the planet. It’ll be a center for innovation, and it’s something clearly our employees want and we want. Apple at its roots has a very core value of leaving the world a better place than we found it.”

Unilever, Coke, M&S, BT Launch Digital Platform to Engage Millennials on Our Power to Create Change, 'Collectively'

A coalition of the world’s biggest companies has launched a global digital platform to drive conversation and momentum around sustainability — and to help reach the ever-elusive goal of making sustainable lifestyles the new normal.The idea for Collectively, launched today, emerged from conversations at last year’s World Economic Forum between Unilever, BT Group, The Coca-Cola Company, Marks & Spencer and Carlsberg, around how to engage more effectively with millennials to inspire and accelerate more sustainable ways of living.

Home-Brew Innovators Prove Simple, Plant-Based Remedies Could Revolutionize Skincare

For most people with skin problems, the solution is to try every possible remedy and product out there until they find one that works. But when the alternatives don’t work, some enterprising patients decide to make their own.Anita Redd took matters into her own hands when conventional remedies were no match for her infant son’s eczema — a painful condition causing inflamed and itchy skin. From birth, Kevin suffered from flaky and blistered patches on his body. When doctors recommended putting him on creams and steroids with potential side effects such as stunted growth, infections and hypertension, Redd decided to look elsewhere for alternatives.

Avery Dennison RBIS Opens Innovation Center in Los Angeles

Avery Dennison RBIS, a global provider of apparel branding, labeling, packaging, embellishments and RFID solutions, celebrated the opening of its Los Angeles-based Customer Design and Innovation Center (CDIC), a 15,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility in the city’s Arts District.The LA center will offer a collaborative experience for apparel brands with access to deep consumer insights and the latest trend information from Avery Dennison RBIS. The CDIC will also equip the apparel industry with custom embellishment and analysis tools for intelligent, creative and sustainable designs that help communicate the power of their brand.

Startup Setting Out to Make Fashion Industry Transparent, 'Just'

The deadly collapse of the Rana Plaza textile factory in Bangladesh in April 2013 was a tragic, overdue wake-up call to the fashion industry — not only to take action to ensure the safety of workers throughout their value chains, but also to illustrate the critical need for transparency as far as their operations reach throughout the world.

2014 Tomorrow's Value Rating Calls for Paradigm Shift in How We Do Business

​The Tomorrow’s ValueTM Rating (TVR), published by DNV GL, assesses the sustainability performance of the world’s largest companies, evaluating how well companies understand their risks and opportunities, and how prepared they are to create future business value.For the second year running, Unilever tops the rating, with Intel, Nestlé and Swiss building materials producer Holcim in a three-way tie for second place.

Barclays Pledges £1bn to Rapidly Growing Green Bonds Sector

On Monday, Barclays reaffirmed its commitment to the Green Bonds sector by announcing it will invest a minimum of £1bn (US$1.64) by November 2015 to form part of its liquid asset buffer — one of the largest such investments by a bank."Every so often, market innovation and social imperatives come together to create something exciting that has the potential to make a real difference,” said Tushar Morzaria, Group Finance Director at Barclays. “The Green Bond sector is a fast-growing and powerful example of this synthesis."

What Does Your Brand Stand For?

As a marketer, your goal is to win fans and keep them. You do that by making a difference. And by showing what moves you. What you stand for. But what is the best way to get to the core of your brand?

Unilever, ad:tech London Offering $50K to Tech Startups That Might Be 'The Next Big Thing'

Unilever has partnered with the ad:tech London initiative and the trade show’s Future Media and Technology Summit. With this new partnership, a range of marketing and media tech startup hopefuls will pitch their ideas to brand, agency and venture capital judges to win the prestigious honor of being named "The Next Big Thing."

European Startup Has Developed Biomimetic Solution for Safe, Antimicrobial Plastics

Parx Plastics, a Dutch-Italian bio-innovator in antibacterial plastic technology, is launching its first ready-to-use Saniconcentrates™ for manufacturers in Europe and the US to safely create self-sanitizing products with an antibacterial property of up to 99 percent within 24 hours*.

One Year In, Plum & Campbell Say Trust, Learning Each Other's Strengths Are Secrets to Successful Marriage

What happens when a publicly traded, 147-year-old global food and beverage institution buys a scrappy, organic baby food startup dedicated to alleviating hunger for children in the US?On the one-year anniversary of Plum Organics’ both becoming a B Corp and being acquired by what CEO & co-founder Neil Grimmer calls “an American icon,” we caught up with Grimmer and Dave Stangis, VP of Public Affairs & Corporate Responsibility at Campbell Soup Company, last week at SOCAP to find out if the mission-driven startup and the multinational corporation are still in the honeymoon phase.

Cura Setting Out to Create Local and Global Impact 'Through Simply Enjoying Coffee'

Cura Coffee Co, a San Diego-based startup, sells a direct-trade, premium organic coffee that directly connects coffee lovers with the farmers who produce it.

General Mills Acquiring Annie's for $820M, Riding Wave of Demand for Authentic, Values-Driven Products

General Mills announced Monday that it will acquire Annie’s, Inc, a leading U.S. producer of branded organic and natural food products with net sales of $204 million in its latest fiscal year (completed March 2014).

Diners in Austin, NYC Going Halfsies to Address Obesity, Food Waste, Hunger

Controlling the size of your portions is a great way to save money, food and unnecessary health problems caused by obesity. Eating out, on the other hand, takes that control away from you — unless you go for a restaurant that’s signed up for Halfsies. Launched at the end of 2012 in Texas and New York, it’s an initiative that lets you donate half of your food before it even gets to the table. Apart from the warm, fuzzy feeling you'll get from giving, your waistline will be thankful as well.

Datacoup Lets Users Unlock the Value of Their Personal Data for Cash, Insights

Datacoup, “The World’s First Personal Data Marketplace,” launched Thursday, providing a platform for individuals to aggregate, analyze and sell their own personal data. After a successful beta period with over 1,200 active users testing new site features and receiving money for their data, the service is primed to welcome 10,000+ individuals on its waiting list, as well as the general public, to its platform.

CVS Rebrands as CVS Health, Takes Next Steps to Making America Tobacco-Free

CVS Caremark today announced three potentially game-changing developments for its brand and its business. First, the pharmacy chain has changed its corporate name from CVS Caremark to CVS Health, to reflect its broader commitment to healthcare — first illustrated in February by its bold decision to discontinue the sale of all tobacco products.CVS Health encompasses the company’s retail business, which will continue to be called CVS/pharmacy; its pharmacy benefit management business, which is known as CVS/caremark; its walk-in medical clinics, CVS/minuteclinic; and its growing specialty pharmacy business, CVS/specialty.

RSF Launches Search for Next 25 'Social Enterprise Stars' at SOCAP 2014

RSF Social Finance, a San Francisco-based organization that lends money to path-breaking social enterprises, is launching a campaign Sept. 2 to find the Next 25 Social Enterprise Stars (#SocentStars).The campaign, kicking off in concert with SOCAP 2014, the world’s leading conference on impact investing and social enterprise, is designed to attract RSF’s next cohort of extraordinary, mission-driven borrowers. RSF wants to add 25 social enterprise stars to its loan portfolio over the next year.

20 Semi-Finalists Announced for 'Socially Responsible Design's Highest Award'

The Buckminster Fuller Institute has announced the semi-finalists for the 2014 Fuller Challenge. Named "Socially Responsible Design’s Highest Award," the Fuller Challenge invites scientists, designers, architects, activists, entrepreneurs, artists and planners from all over the world to submit their solutions to some of humanity’s most pressing problems. A $100,000 prize is awarded to support the development and implementation of one outstanding strategy.

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