In the summer, all we talk about is rain. Walk into a diner or a barn, or just run into someone at the store, and the first question anyone asks — even before “How are you?” — is, “Did you get any rain?” It’s the same in New Mexico as in Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona and California. Everyone is concerned because, as ranchers, we know the health of our cattle depends on the amount of water that falls out of the sky. And this year, it hasn’t been a lot.
News stories that praise Costa Rica’s use of ‘100 percent renewable energy’ for a growing number of days on end are focusing on the fact that the nation laudably generates a great deal (and sometimes all) of its electricity from wind, solar, hydro and sugarcane. As I discovered during a recent visit, the equivalence of ‘electricity’ with ‘energy’ is often made, but make no mistake — for some uses (i.e. cooking/heating) and transportation, natural gas and/or propane or conventional combustion engines are still the norm. A fair number of the diesel-powered buses and trucks are clearly (or rather not clearly) running on older engines.
Today, August 1, marks our earliest yet Earth Overshoot Day — the day humanity has used nature’s resource budget for the year — since its establishment in 1987.
Despite increasing awareness of our planetary boundaries and social thresholds, we’ve not only not managed to reverse it, we’re making it worse.
Four of the nation’s largest food companies have launched the Sustainable Food Policy Alliance, a new organization focused on driving progress in public policies that shape what people eat and how it impacts their health, communities, and the planet. Founding member companies include Danone North America; Mars, Incorporated; Nestlé USA and Unilever United States.
The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) has announced a major new partnership with leading companies today with the launch of The Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellowship Programme. Corporate and individual donors are sponsoring up to 15 academic fellows to identify breakthrough solutions to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and mobilize evidence on these challenges as they undertake three-year studies.
With the 2018 FIFA World Cup taking place against the backdrop of a rapidly changing world, a world where people increasingly expect corporations to stand for something more than just profits, it seems like an appropriate time to take a look at which World Cup sponsors are leaning into this cultural tension and activating their sponsorships in a purposeful way.
115 organizations, representing over US$3.3 trillion of combined annual spend, are working to improve supply chain sustainability by requesting environmental data from more than 11,500 global suppliers.
In the business world, we frequently hear executives asking what value a program brings to an organization, placing emphasis on immediate profit rather than long-term impact. At Keurig Green Mountain, we have designed our business on a model that creates value for all that are touched by our work, including employees, manufacturers, coffee farmers and our local communities. Our business model reflects our roots as a socially minded coffee roaster, and it’s our belief that we can best grow our business and make progress toward our commitment to Brew A Better World™ by authentically aligning our company goals with our values.
The “brand purpose” bandwagon has become awfully crowded. And as more and more brands seek to capitalize on the opportunity to cast themselves in a more authentic, meaningful light, the language of “brand purpose” has become weak, watered down and increasingly meaningless.
Marketing purpose is easy; embedding purpose is hard work. And while a number of pioneers and purists remain committed to embedding purpose at the organizational level, the temptation to cut corners and to exploit purpose for marketing “quick wins” — rather than to embed it in more meaningful, transformative ways — has become too great to resist. The phenomenon of “purpose-washing” is real.
In its new campaign, Behind the Barcodes, Oxfam shines a light on the millions of women and men trapped in poverty and facing brutal working conditions while producing the food on our supermarket shelves
At the 2018 Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity this week, Unilever announced commitments to improve transparency in its influencer marketing and called on industry to similarly help improve authenticity, build consumer trust and improve brands’ ability to measure impact.
Interface has become the first global flooring manufacturer to declare that all of its products — including all carpet tile and luxury vinyl tile (LVT) – are carbon neutral across the entire product lifecycle. The company is now offering its Carbon Neutral Floors™ program as standard to every customer, at no extra cost, to help them meet their own sustainability goals while also allowing them to reduce the emissions impact of their projects or spaces.
This morning, from the main stage at SB’18 Vancouver, Max Burgers’ Chief Sustainability Officer, Kaj Török, announced that the Swedish burger chain is set to offer the world’s first climate-positive burgers. Török said that customers will soon be able to “take a bite that’s good for the planet as well as their taste-buds” when eating at the quick-serve burger chain, and urged other companies to join Max in going climate positive.
In recent conversation with Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer at P&G, we spent our time talking about shifting out from old paradigms and models, to create new frameworks for building brands and advancing sustainability. Here are Pritchard’s top five paradigms to shift:
Cool and stylish workspaces, advanced benefits and other perks are among the many ways that employers stand out as a great place to work. Yet there’s another perk that is just as important, if not more so: an open culture. According to a recent Glassdoor survey, culture and values are the biggest predictor of employee satisfaction.
Published during the first industrial revolution, Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations used the metaphor of “the invisible hand of the market” to describe how the decisions of self-interested individuals in a free market economy could promote the general betterment of the society as a whole. To this day, free market proponents use Smith’s metaphor to argue for elimination of regulations for a more efficient economy. But the “invisible hand” only makes societally beneficial decisions to the extent that it has good information.
It’s hard to believe that a fast-food burger chain would actively set a target to reduce red meat consumption by its customers. After all, that generous meat patty smacked in the middle of two fresh buns is the reason why such restaurants exist, right? But Sweden’s beloved Max Burgers is doing just that, and sales across its 120 stores have never been better.
In the midst of the “purpose revolution,” people are increasingly taking company values to heart when it comes to purchasing and employment decisions (and this is especially true when it comes to young consumers and job seekers).
In April of 2000, Clif Bar owner and founder Gary Erickson turned down a $120 million offer to buy Clif Bar & Company. Instead of taking it easy the rest of his life, Erickson decided to keep Clif Bar private and pursue a unique business model known as the Five Aspirations: Sustaining Its Business, Brands, People, Community and the Planet.