SB Brand-Led Culture Change 2024 - Prices go up March 1st! Register now!

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.

Advertisement
Sustainability Innovations Could Generate $156 Billion for UK Firms

Cross-Posted from New Metrics. UK businesses could secure £100 billion pounds (nearly $156 billion USD) in annual productivity gains generated by innovations designed to address environmental and social challenges, according to a new report by Accenture, Business in the Community and Marks & Spencer.Fortune Favors the Brave argues that companies must go beyond conventional corporate and social responsibility programs and place sustainability at the heart of business strategies and operations to unlock the full commercial potential and sustainability benefits.

So Crafty: New Belgium Shows How Sustainable Brand Innovation Can Be a Business Driver

It makes sense that an alliance of craft breweries continues to speak out for the Clean Water Act — you can’t make great beer without great water. But what is it about the culture of craft breweries that makes them see sustainability as an innovation imperative? We asked one of the pioneers in the field, Jenn Vervier, New Belgium Brewing’s Director of Strategic Planning and Sustainability.

Back to the Start with Back to the Roots

In their last semester at UC Berkeley, Alejandro Velez and Nikhil Arora were inspired by a class lecture about the possibilities of growing mushrooms using entirely recycled coffee grounds. The perfect representation of turning waste into wages, after various experimentations the pair founded Back to the Roots in 2009. We caught up with Nikhil to learn more about the company’s business model and its newest offering, a tabletop aquaponic farm.

Airbnb, Lyft Partner with New Sharing Economy Advocacy Group

Cross-Posted from Collaboration. Peer-to-peer businesses have a new voice as they go up against traditional industries and, in some cases, government regulations.Airbnb, Lyft, and TaskRabbit are among the companies that have partnered with Peers, a nonprofit that plans to organize sharing-economy users.The newly formed organization made its debut on Wednesday.Executive Director Natalie Foster said the goal of the organization is to promote and protect the businesses and groups that allow people to share goods and services. This means holding events to bring together advocates and users for "community-building" and providing a place for them to share stories and talk about related topics, which includes legislation or local regulations.

Patagonia Launches New Program to Upcycle Flip-Flops

Cross-Posted from Waste Not. Patagonia has commenced a new remanufacturing program to continuously recycle its flip-flops, which could reduce production waste by nearly a third.The clothing company has partnered with small upstart firm PLUSfoam to create flip-flops that are 100 percent recyclable and can be upcycled into new flip-flops at the end of their life with no reduction in performance.

Advertisement
Veuve Clicquot Innovates for More Sustainable Packaging

This video reveals the development process behind Veuve Clicquot's new potato starch packaging - not only is it 100% biodegradable but it's also isothermal, keeping your champagne cool for up to two hours without refrigeration.

BBMG's Raphael Bemporad on How Businesses Can Help Drive Transformational Change [Video]

In this interview from the Sustainable Brands 2013 conference in San Diego, BBMG co-founder Raphael Bemporad discusses the need for businesses to engage consumers in ways that will help drive transformational change.To learn how some brands are driving change, check out our #BrandInnovation channel.

Tesla CEO's Plans for ‘Hyperloop’ Transport System Coming in August

Billionaire chairman and CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX visionary Elon Musk says he will release designs next month for a system capable of rapidly transporting people from Los Angeles to San Francisco via a tube in under 30 minutes.In several recent Twitter posts, the real-life Tony Stark has stated he will be “happy to work with the right partners” on the project, called Hyperloop, as long as they share his vision of developing the technology “fast and without wasting money.”Musk says he is welcoming “critical feedback” on the system and will publish his plans by August 12 as open source.

How Forward-Thinking Brands Are Disrupting and Delighting Through Innovation

Calling all innovators and implementers! Sustainable Brands and BBMG have launched a new Issues in Focus editorial channel examining the most creative, inspiring and disruptive cases of brand innovation.Guest editor Carola Beeney — joined by BBMG founders Raphael Bemporad and Mitch Baranowski and the SB editorial team — is curating a broad selection of articles to help illuminate this emerging paradigm, for publication throughout the year.

Remade in the USA: A Conversation with Designer Shannon South

Cross-Posted from Waste Not. In the world of sustainable fashion, few designers are pulling off the business model with as much style and substance as Shannon South. BBMG’s proprietary community of Aspirational consumers, The Collective, recently partnered with Shannon for the Remake My Leather Challenge, and we sat down with her to discuss what makes Shannon’s line, Remade USA, different from other sustainably designed product lines.How did you get started as a handbag designer?

Advertisement
Celebrating the Emergence of a New Generation of Business Innovators

When you look at the environmental and social challenges we face, it's often tough to stay optimistic. The worst predictions of climate science are coming true. Resource scarcity — especially water — is a major threat to business and the economy. Worker conditions around the world, like those that led to the unfathomable recent tragedies in Bangladesh, can seem like intractable problems. And the political system that we need to tackle big issues is mostly broken.

Lego Thinking: Key to Futureproofing Your Brand?

Key to futureproofing is creating a brand that fulfills your customers' higher order needs — things such as meaning, authenticity, self-fulfillment and all those other wonderful aspirations at the top of Maslow’s pyramid.But what if your consumer finds him- or herself in flux, discovering a purchase that felt meaningful a short time ago suddenly seems, well, less so today? How can you keep up with this sort of rapidly evolving ‘higher order’ demand?With Lego thinking.

When It Comes to Sustainable Innovation, Corporates Can Learn a Lot from Entrepreneurs

One of the core ideas behind sustainable branding is that, by thinking of social problems as business opportunities, companies can gain a competitive advantage. It follows then that a very important core competency in the quest for sustainable branding is the ability to identify social and environmental opportunities and to turn them into innovative business solutions.In other words, much of sustainable branding is about human-centered innovation and understanding how to continuously create relevance and value in the lives of individuals. This is a field that has advanced significantly in recent years with the increasing prominence of approaches such as design thinking, co-creation and customer development.

Learning How to Share Again [Video]

As toddlers, most of us had to learn how to share against our more basic instincts.

Consumers Believe Brands Can Have Positive Impact but Are Failing to Do So

For all the talk about how important brands are in people's lives, the evidence points firmly in the other direction.

Advertisement
More Life Now! A Manifesto for Rejuvenative Technology

At a time when authoritative studies highlight our lack of progress on existing environmental goals and the scale of the threats we may face, we need to turn away from incrementalism, from rationing our unsustainability, towards new models of technological and economic innovation.

GM, BMW Complete Successful Testing on DC Fast Charge Stations

After several days of joint testing, General Motors and BMW AG engineers say they are confident that DC “Combo” Fast Charge stations from several suppliers will consistently allow an electric vehicle to take on an 80 percent charge in about 20 minutes.This industry-coordinated early confirmation of DC Fast Charge hardware and software will accelerate efforts to roll out SAE Combo DC Fast Charge infrastructure in the coming months, the announcement says. Some of the suppliers participating in the testing were ABB, Aker Wade, Eaton and IES.

SB '13, Day 3: Startups, Multinationals Alike Showcase Game-Changing Innovations

On Wednesday, day three of the SB’13 conference, the morning plenary presentations explored some of the more fascinating ways innovation is manifesting itself through entrepreneurs and large businesses alike. Moderator Annie Longsworth, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi S, reminded the audience that innovation is tough — you need to be willing to fail if you want to succeed, and asserted that “We are at our greatest need, collectively. If there ever was a time for innovation, it is now.”

Ecopia Working to Reduce Plastic Waste, Increase Quality of Life for Small Farms in Developing Countries

Cross-Posted from Waste Not. In the final week leading up to the Sustainable Brands Innovation Open (SBIO) finals on June 5th, where the runner-up will be decided via live online public vote, we will feature daily articles introducing our semi-finalists. Today, meet Ecopia.Minnesota-based start-up Ecopia offers environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional plastic and paper products, while also driving social value within the communities that create its goods.

Engagement and Innovation: Lessons from CLIF Bar's Latest Eco-Challenge

To commemorate Earth Day 2013, Clif Bar’s offices in Emeryville, California, went paperless for one week.

Advertisement