Like few times in our history, we are navigating a moment of profound cultural, political and economic transformation.
On one hand, we’ve seen nearly every nation on the planet come together behind new Sustainable Development Goals and an historic Climate Accord that offers a bold and inspiring vision for the promise and possibilities of business and society.
New research commissioned by environmental non-profit Hubbub and consumer goods giant Unilever reveals that in the first week of the summer break, £12 million worth of food will be thrown away as UK families head off on holiday; more than half of people surveyed admitted to throwing away perfectly edible food before they went on holiday. This unfortunate statistic is in keeping with 2015 research from the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), which found the UK to be among the top food wasters in Europe.
A new report from Transparency International reveals that emerging market multinationals are far from responsible global citizens, with low transparency standards and weak anti-corruption policies that have barely improved over the last few years, if at all.
The largest-ever global analysis of attitudes toward seafood consumption, released today, has found that sustainability is a key driver for seafood purchases: Across 21 countries, sustainability is rated more highly than price and brand, with nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of seafood consumers agreeing that in order to save the oceans, shoppers should only consume seafood from sustainable sources. More than half (54 percent) said they are prepared to pay more for a certified sustainable seafood product.
I’ve just arrived back from Australia, where I was sharing Forum for the Future’s work at the first Sustainable Brands conference in the region.
I left London on the day that 52 percent of the UK population voted to leave the EU. I left with a very heavy heart, dumbstruck that such a body blow to one of the most important integration projects since WWII had been delivered. For the next few days I would wake (admittedly, at totally the wrong time for my UK-based body clock), with a profound sense of loss, which took a few seconds to pin-point to the outcome of the vote.
Representing 40 percent of the global public, Aspirationals are defined by their love of shopping, desire for responsible consumption, and their trust in brands to act in the best interest of society. They are among the most likely to “support companies and brands that have a purpose of making a positive difference in society through their products, services, and operations.” Yet, according to a survey of 21,000 consumers across 21 countries, only half can think of a single company as having a strong purpose in this way.
Consumers’ perspectives on corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives have received more research attention than the perspectives of manufacturers and retailers, and yet shopper expectations may be a rather minor driver of such initiatives. According to a new study from communications firm Ketchum in partnership with Carol Cone On Purpose (CCOP) consumer demand is actually the sixth- or seventh-ranked driver out of eight main reasons manufacturers and retailers engage in CSR initiatives, respectively.
As brands start to realize that considering sustainability is no longer optional, many will be tempted to employ a traditional control-and-command approach to communications around their practices and issues.
The experts on this panel Tuesday morning explained why it's a good idea to do just the opposite, and involve consumers (and other stakeholders) in the strategic conversation.
Tuesday’s morning plenary started with Raphael Bemporad, co-founder and principal of BBMG, sharing the thought, “What makes us the most human and what the world needs most is exactly the same.” That is, to build more sustainable brands, companies and people alike must set the intention to have more courage, wonder, empathy, connection, and joy.
From the mudlets of the Mekong delta to the Fjords of Norway, the past five years have seen sustainable seafood flourish. This is partly due to certified fisheries, which have delivered measureable, positive impacts in the oceans. While uncertified stocks have struggled with greater variability in terms of biomass and fishing pressure, stocks certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) have increased in abundance even as demand for sustainable seafood increased.
At Sustainable Brands ’16 San Diego, I’m announcing an additional eight Green Giants. Find out who the new billion-dollar sustainable business leaders are here.
What’s the business case for sustainability? A BILLION DOLLARS.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a “kindness” pillar in any company’s strategic plan — it’s not exactly part of the corporate lexicon. But that’s just what the Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Foundation was promoting when it dominated social media with a coordinated campaign designed to fulfill its mission: encouraging the spread of kindness worldwide.
We had a very interesting finding from our Eco Pulse 2015 study that took us by surprise: the percentage of people who said they had stopped buying a product based on the environmental reputation of a manufacturer increased dramatically from 11% to 33%. That’s pretty significant, especially when you consider this same question has been asked for nearly a decade and the percentage has always been around 12%, give or take a few percentage points.
Understanding investor priorities is an important responsibility for a company’s top executives and its board of directors, yet, new findings show that managers’ perceptions of investors are out of date.
Get ‘em while they’re young.
It’s a strategy long embraced by the world of media, advertising and marketing, whether it be product placement in kids’ literature, TV shows or movies; cartoon characters created to make a brand more cuddly; or movies and games that come with a readymade collection of toys attached.
The trade association for the United Kingdom’s resource and waste management sector, the Environmental Services Association (ESA), recently released a report which celebrates the industry’s achievements – and urges the government to ensure “recycling and diversion rates do not go backwards.” The group provided four recommendations which it believes will create a more resilient waste collection system and aid the push towards a circular economy.
The Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC) has demonstrated the power of harnessing brand affinity and the growing awareness of ethical choice. Three recent and inspiring examples in Spain, Italy and Germany illustrate their success in fostering both individual and collective action in each of these markets.
Price remains one of the biggest draws for American consumers. Results from a recent Associated Press-GfK poll show that the vast majority of Americans say they prefer lower prices instead of paying a premium for items labeled “Made in the U.S.A.,” even if it means those cheaper items are made abroad.
At BP’s 2015 Annual General Meeting (AGM), 4.12 percent of the company’s investors either ‘abstained’ (2.4 percent) or voted ‘against’ (1.72 percent) a resolution to better disclose carbon risk. The remainder (96 percent) got the publicity for supporting the resolution, as the board (in a move of alignment with resolution filers) recommended. But as we approach the 2016 voting season, we need to understand why 4 percent of investors would take the step of either abstaining over this board-recommended resolution, or voting against it.
Survey results published this week by the U.K.-based Institute of Environment Management & Assessment (IEMA) show that Environment and Sustainability Professionals are highly satisfied workers who find their jobs personally, professionally and financially rewarding.