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Stakeholder Trends and Insights

World Water Week: Energy, Water Communities Must Cooperate to Meet Global Challenges

Global leaders gathered in Stockholm Monday for 2014 World Water Week urged the energy and water communities to work together to provide clean drinking water and energy for a growing world population. With the theme of "Energy and Water," the 24th annual World Water Week is aimed at finding solutions to challenges in optimizing these resources while acknowledging their interdependency — an increase or decrease in one will immediately affect the other. The two are also inseparable from sustainable development, which must be tirelessly promoted in global decision-making.

SCS Announces Updated Recycled Content Certification Standard

SCS Global Services (SCS), provider of third-party environmental and sustainability certification, has released an updated version of its Recycled Content Certification Standard, which helps manufacturers conserve natural resources, support corporate sustainability goals, and meet customer specifications for recycled products.The SCS Kingfisher Recycled Content label has been applied to products in a wide range of industries, such as textiles, carpet, packaging, building and interior products, wood and paper, insulation, jewelry, precious metals and more.

200 Years After Abolition, Slavery Still a Major Issue in Today's Supply Chains

23 August is the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, a date that marks the beginning of the end for the transatlantic slave trade. Unfortunately, this event did not mark the end of slavery altogether. Modern-day slavery in the 21st century remains widespread. The recent Thai fishing industry scandal is just one of the many recent examples.

Millennials' Interest in Social Responsibility Prompts Documentary Boom from Netflix

As Andrew Swinard noted recently in Crain’s Chicago Business: “For millennials — who, at 86 million strong, make up the largest population group the US has ever seen — social responsibility is the new religion.”Which could be a reason streaming media service Netflix, which is spending $3 billion on expanding its original content domestically and abroad, is moving left — shrewdly acquiring exclusive rights to several cause-related and hard-hitting documentaries in a bit for broader adoption by Millennials.

Does Ecoliteracy Prevent Environmental Action?

“Knowledge is not enough” is the slogan of the WorldWatch Institute’s State of the World 2014 campaign, raising the question of whether current environmental education is enough to promote action. The Institute reports that the current ecological literacy (“ecoliteracy”) model of filling the knowledge deficit rather than addressing the behavior deficit has generated an array of highly knowledgeable individuals who still fail to take action despite their understanding of the underlying issues.

Children Imagine Much More Than the Car of the Future in Toyota's Dream Car of the Day Campaign

We all know children have the power to imagine just about anything, so the ingenuity that’s burst forth in response to Toyota’s 8th annual Dream Car of the Day campaign should come as no surprise. Not only have hundreds of children around the world imagined absolutely amazing cars of the future, per the campaign’s purpose, many of them double as solutions to our most pressing environmental, social and health issues.

New Tool Provides Easy Access to Russell 3000's Climate Change Disclosures

Ceres and CookESG Research have launched a free, easy-to-use web tool for accessing climate change-related disclosures in company filings with the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission, which issued formal climate disclosure guidance in 2010.

Poll: Majority of Business Owners Want Clean Water Rules

Most small business owners favor federal protection of clean water and agree that clean water is necessary for a healthy economy and job creation, according to a new national poll by the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC).Key findings from the poll include:80% of small business owners favor federal protection of upstream headwaters and wetlands as proposed in the new "Waters of the U.S." clean water rule of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).71% of small business owners said that clean water is necessary for jobs and a healthy economy.67% of small business owners are concerned that water pollution could hurt their business in the future.

Shareholders Urging Safeway to Label Its Food for GMOs

At its annual meeting tomorrow, shareholders and advocacy groups will urge grocery giant Safeway to label its store brand products that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Green Century Capital Management, which filed the proposal, cited unprecedented public demand for GMO labeling as a reason for Safeway to voluntarily provide this information. Consumer advocacy group US Public Interest Research Group (US PIRG) will be presenting a petition signed by over 130,000 consumers that calls on the company to label GMOs.

CPG Brands Still 'Respected' While Airlines, Retailers Lag on New CoreBrand Rankings

CoreBrand, a brand strategy and communications firm and creator of the Corporate Branding Index® (CBI), which provides continuous benchmarking data, insights and corporate brand valuation for more than 1,000 companies across 50 industries, has released its second annual report on the most and least respected corporate brands.

CDP: Most Cities Moving to Protect Businesses From Climate Change

The majority of the world’s major cities have disclosed that climate change presents a physical risk to the businesses operating in their cities and are taking concrete action in response, according to a new report from CDP.Some cities already are achieving millions in annual savings from programs aimed at countering climate change. Portland, for example, reports that it saves $5.5 million each year from its City Energy Challenge program, resulting in cumulative savings of $42 million since the program’s inception in 1991.

FOE's Report Card, EU's Emission Law Knocking Wind Out of Cruise Industry's Sails

Members of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), including Royal Caribbean International, Carnival and Disney Cruise Line, have announced they will no longer participate in the Cruise Ship Report Card, Friends of the Earth’s (FOE) annual environmental survey of the cruise industry.

Academic Centers Positioned to Lead Major Sustainability Work

Need to solve a sustainability problem?Get the smartest people from industry, government, NGOs and academia. Put them together. And stir.That’s an oversimplification of the recipe for success that surfaced several weeks ago during the inaugural event (video) of the Center for Business Strategy and Sustainability (CBSS) at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Although simple, it reveals the opportunity academic units such as CBSS have to become pre-competitive leaders — to be the ones bringing all those smart people together in the same room.

Marketing Is from Mars, Sustainability Is from Venus

Most brands are still scarily silent about the difference they want to make in our lives and yet hope we won’t notice them force-feeding us with advertising-as-usual until they produce consumer foie gras. This is in stark contrast to what people expect of brands today: According to Havas’ Meaningful Brands Survey findings, 71 percent of people globally want brands to solve some of society’s biggest challenges such as unemployment, climate change, etc. Then why are brands still so silent? Why does there still seem to be an insurmountable wall between sustainability and marketing?

Ford Steals Top Spot from Toyota in Interbrand's 2014 Best Global Green Brands Report

Ford tops Interbrand’s 2014 Best Global Green Brands report list – knocking reigning champ Toyota, which held the top spot since the report was launched in 2011, down to #2. Fellow automakers Honda and Nissan claim the #3 and #4 spots, respectively, with Panasonic in fifth place — same as last year.

Clean Energy Saving US Companies More Than $1 Billion Annually

The nation’s largest companies are rapidly embracing renewable energy sourcing and greenhouse gas emissions reduction efforts, according to a new report from Calvert Investments, Ceres, David Gardiner & Associates, and World Wildlife Fund (WWF).The analysis, released Thursday, reveals that these efforts are the new “business as usual” among many of the country’s largest companies, with 43 percent of Fortune 500 companies having set targets in at least one of three categories: reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, improving energy efficiency, and procuring more renewable energy.

New Nielsen Study Says Consumers Are Ready to Pay More for Social Responsibility

Nielsen’s 2014 Global Survey on Corporate Social Responsibility, released Tuesday, shows that 55 percent of global online consumers across 60 countries are willing to pay more for products and services from companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact.The Asia-Pacific region leads with 64 percent followed by Latin America (63 percent) and Middle East/Africa (63 percent) while North America and Europe come in at 42 and 40 percent, respectively.

#SB14sd Sound Bytes, Vol. 3: Starbucks, Sprint and The Nature Conservancy on Engagement in Public Policy

With such a flurry of activity going on this week at SB ’14 San Diego, we wanted to share some of it as it happens.Here, Starbucks’ Jim Hanna, Sprint’s Amy Hargroves and The Nature Conservancy’s Geof Rochester ponder ‘What If’ brands — and citizens alike — more proactively engaged in advancing policy around climate change.Jim HannaAmy Hargroves

#SB14sd: Aspirationals Vote Coke, Microsoft, Tata, Nestlé World’s Most Responsible Companies

Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Samsung, Tata, Unilever and Nestlé top the list of the world’s most responsible companies, based on a new global survey of Aspirational consumers by BBMG and GlobeScan released today at the Sustainable Brands 2014 Conference.

Sustainia: Sustainable Solutions Can Reverse Rise in Chronic Diseases

Chronic diseases are projected to cause a global economic loss of $47 trillion between 2011-2030, but can be countered by sustainability initiatives while also addressing environmental issues, according to a new report by diabetes care supplier Novo Nordisk and sustainability think tank Sustainia.