Stakeholder Trends and Insights

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.

Unilever Named #1 in 20th Annual Sustainability Leaders Report

A survey released this week of expert stakeholders from business, government, NGOs and academia across 87 countries shows that Unilever, Patagonia, Interface and M&S are viewed as leaders in corporate sustainability.

Whole Foods, Safeway Again Top Seafood Sustainability Ranking; Kroger Still Lagging

Today, Greenpeace released the 8th edition of its annual report, Carting Away the Oceans, which evaluates 26 major retailers on their seafood sourcing and sustainability.For the second year in a row, Whole Foods and Safeway topped the ranking. Employee-owned, Midwestern grocery chain Hy-Vee was evaluated for the first time and immediately ranked in the top five.

Lloyd’s of London: Insurers Must Factor in Climate Change Risk

Lloyd’s of London, the world’s oldest insurance market, has released a report calling on insurers to consider climate change in their catastrophe models.

Greenpeace, Top Users Tell Pinterest: 'Make Our Pins Green'

On Tuesday, Greenpeace activists and influential users of Pinterest asked the social network and visual search tool to become the next tech company to power its platform with renewable energy at a demonstration outside of the company’s headquarters.The activists set up two 13’ tall, 15’ wide “pinboards” outside of Pinterest’s office in the SOMA neighborhood of San Francisco, each featuring real-life “pins” with the message, “Make Our Pins Green.” Designers, photographers and other influential Pinterest users who are partnering with Greenpeace’s #clickclean campaign for a renewably powered Internet designed many of the pins on the boards.The demonstration featured pins designed by eight Pinterest users who have close to five million followers combined.

Roundtable: It's 'Time for Action' for the Indian Organic Cotton Sector

Organic cotton has enviable growth potential but trends suggest a supply crunch in the years to come, warns Time for Action: Key Issues and Actions Facing the Cotton Sector in India — a report outlining the agreements arrived at the inaugural Organic Cotton Roundtable held in March this year.The Roundtable, which convened over 170 industry players, was organized by CottonConnect and curated and funded by the C&A Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Dutch fashion retailer C&A.

What Kind of Change Maker Are You?

These are heady times for those working at the intersections of business, branding and sustainability. In recent years, we've seen an unprecedented confluence of behavioral sciences, business acumen, branding strategy and green technologies, giving rise to entirely new disciplines, roles, practices and industries. This is evidenced in the growth of Sustainable Brands itself, as an internationally vibrant hub dedicated to skillful integration of our deepest-held values, commitments and ethos in a competitive and demanding business environment.

Review: Corporate Diplomacy: Building Reputations and Relationships with External Stakeholders

In a world of viral digital media, external stakeholders can dramatically influence corporate reputations and shareholder value. In his informative new book, Corporate Diplomacy, author Witold Henisz — Deloitte & Touche Professor of Management at The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School — outlines the competitive need for a strategic integration of stakeholder-facing functions, to create value for society as well as shareholders.

Think Globally to Cut Down on Waste Locally

Cultures around the world each seem to possess unique, deeply ingrained beliefs and traditions for cutting down on waste. For just two examples, Yankee ingenuity helped America put down its early roots, and the Dutch custom of sharing unlocked community bikes at train stations inspired bike-sharing programs in NYC, Paris and other world capitals.


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