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8 Major Consumer Brands and WWF Form Alliance to Promote Plant-Based Plastics

COLLABORATION - Coca-Cola, Danone, Ford, Heinz, Nestlé, Nike, P&G, Unilever and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) have formed a new organization to support the responsible development of plastics made from plant material and promote a more sustainable future for the bioplastics industry.The Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance (BFA) will focus on guiding the responsible selection and harvesting of feedstocks — such as sugar cane, corn, bulrush and switchgrass — used to make plastics from agricultural materials.

Unilever's Project Sunlight Aims to Motivate People to Live More Sustainably

MARKETING AND COMMS - In honor of Universal Children’s Day (November 20), Unilever today launches a new long-term initiative, Unilever Project Sunlight, to motivate millions to live sustainably. With the help of pop star and new mom Fergie, Unilever aims to inspire people to help create a brighter future by making donations to help two million children.

Bureo Poised to Make Waves of Change in the Skateboard Industry

WASTE NOT - For Ben Kneppers and David Stover, the dream was always sun, sand and a great day of skateboarding and surfing. But their passion for sustainability and the environment made them keenly aware of plastic pollution in the oceans — when the two took on beach cleanups as a hobby, all it took was a brief epiphany that this plastic could be put to use, and Bureo Skateboards was born.

Back to the Roots, Revolution Foods Team Up to 'Grow Food, Give Food' to U.S. Schools

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Oakland, Calif., start-up Back to the Roots (BTTR), which has made a name for itself with its DIY mushroom kits and new “AquaFarm” home aquaponics system, has taken another step in fulfilling its commitment to “making food personal again.” Through a new joint campaign with healthy school-lunch provider Revolution Foods, the two like-minded organizations are furthering both of their missions to educate and inspire children about healthy food.

Sustainable Minds' New Tool Adds Approachability to Product Life Cycle Transparency

MARKETING AND COMMS - In response to market demand and the release of LEED v4, LCA software pioneer Sustainable Minds has launched an innovative new way for manufacturers to transparently report the environmental performance of their products. SM Transparency ReportsTM is a new alternative to environmental product declarations (EPD) — with equivalent credibility and superior distillation of technical information for end users. NSF International, industry leader in product certification, is providing the LCA verification and report certification.

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Peruvian Stevia Farm Becomes World's First to Achieve Rainforest Alliance Certification

SUPPLY CHAIN - The Stevia One Perú SAC farm in northern Peru has earned Rainforest Alliance certification, becoming the world’s first stevia farm to earn the distinction, according to an announcement today by Rainforest Alliance. The farm met the rigorous standards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN), conserving natural resources, protecting wildlife and ensuring the well-being of farm families to earn the certification, which marks an important milestone in increasing the sustainability of the industry.

New Report Reveals Global Trends, 'Perspectives' on CR Reporting

MARKETING AND COMMS - CorporateRegister.com, which hosts and manages the global online directory of corporate responsibility (CR) reports, today released its annual free CR Perspectives report, combining data, insight and opinion to reveal how global CR reporting has developed and where it might be headed.

Greenpeace Praises Google, Apple, Facebook for Duke Clean Energy Breakthrough

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - Duke Energy Carolinas, which provides roughly 20,000 megawatts of electricity to approximately 2.4 million customers throughout the Carolinas through a mix of nuclear, coal-fired, natural gas and hydroelectric power generation, announced on Friday the addition of a “Green Source Rider” that will offer its large customers an opportunity to purchase renewable energy, apparently in response to requests from some of said large customers.

P&G Utilizes More Than 99% of Materials Entering Its Plants

WASTE NOT - Over the past fiscal year, more than 99.35 percent of all materials entering Procter & Gamble’s (P&G) plants were used in products and through recycling, reuse, and conversion of waste to energy, according to the company’s 2013 Sustainability Report.Additionally, more than 50 of the Company’s global sites now send zero manufacturing waste to landfill, including every site in Germany. Since 2010, P&G says it has reduced manufacturing waste by 56 percent per unit of production — more than double the company’s original goal.

To Build a Futureproof Brand, Build Your Global Expert Network

LEADERSHIP - A few years ago, my ad agency was acquired by Maddock Douglas, an innovation agency based in Chicago. For a year, I worked with the team at MD, honing a green innovation process for their clients.I learned a number of incredibly useful things from my friends at MD, but one has served me particularly well in the business of building futureproof brands: the power of a global expert network.A global expert network is, as the name implies, a network of smart, specialized idea people you can call upon to guide your thinking. In my case, they’re C-suite level, generally entrepreneurial, with strong brand experience.

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Consumers Worldwide Think Business Should Solve Environmental Problems

MARKETING AND COMMS - Research presented this morning at the SB London conference reveals that many of the world’s consumers lay the responsibility of solving global environmental issues mostly at the door of businesses.

Social Enterprise Uses Baskets to Build Schools, Empower Women in West Africa

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - A social enterprise called Jjangde is tackling two of the largest problems in West Africa — lack of access to education and employment — by connecting handmade goods from rural communities in Senegal to global markets, and using the profits to fund schools in the communities where the goods were made.With a test run of baskets, Jjangde says it was able to fund a summer program that gave 300 students extra support for the upcoming school year. The company also fully funded one year of school for 110 students and developed an exchange program to strengthen the relationship between high schools in Senegal and the United States.

The Uncountable and Sustainable Business Metrics: Can There Be a Productive Relationship?

NEW METRICS - In seven earlier parts of this series, we've discussed 17 pitfalls in the sustainability metrics field. We told sometimes painful stories from several fields outside of business with experience measuring things, such as education and criminal justice, and we discussed easy-to-miss things such as confirmation bias, mistakenly measuring the wrong thing, and failing to acknowledge complexity.

The Story of Stuff's 'The Good Stuff' Examines Roadblocks to Greener Chemistry

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Do you read the ingredient labels of your products? Here are some from a popular baby shampoo:“Purple paraben, quarternium-15, sorbitan laurate…,” rattles off Annie Leonard, co-director of The Story of Stuff Project, during the most recent episode of their “Good Stuff” podcast, which discussed green chemistry.Now, what do those ingredients mean? Where do they come from? If companies are allowed to sell them on the shelves, is that not an indication that they are safe to use? What about the ingredients that aren’t listed … and what does “fragrance” really mean?

Why Water-Saving Advice Won’t Work

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - To the tune of Dolly Parton’s "Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman," I hear myself humming, "Sometimes It’s hard to be a sustainability person… giving all our love to just one plan."That plan — to educate, to warn, to inform, ergo ‘get people to use less water’ — is more than ambitious (especially in the UK). It is unproductively naive, unless we get behaviour change expertise involved at the front, middle and centre of our work. Here is why …

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Driving Innovation: Coke and Ford Unveil Fusion Energi with Interiors Made from PlantBottle Technology™

COLLABORATION - The Coca-Cola Company and Ford Motor Company have teamed up to fuel more sustainable design by collaborating on a first-ever interior fabric made from the same renewable material used to produce Coke’s PlantBottle packaging.

Sprint Offering Buyback Credit on All Phones to Encourage Trade-Ins on America Recycles Day

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - Despite being the No. 3 wireless carrier in the United States, Sprint leads the industry in phone recycling. Last year, Sprint reclaimed 4.4 million phones through voluntary collection programs — compared to AT&T’s 3.1 million and Verizon’s 3 million — and in September, Guinness World Records recognized Sprint for shattering the record for the number of cellular phones recycled in one week: 103,582 cellular phones, more than double the previous record.

'There's More Work to Do': A Conversation with Coke's Bea Perez

MARKETING AND COMMS - Earlier this week, Coca-Cola released its 2012/2013 Sustainability Report, which outlined progress the global beverage giant has made in the areas of water conservation and restoration, supporting sustainable community initiatives and empowering female entrepreneurs around the world.We caught up with Coke’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Bea Perez, for more on the company’s progress to date and the work that’s left to be done.

Brand Deep Dives: A Tool to Co-Create Common Convictions

MARKETING AND COMMS - In this series, Christophe Fauconnier & Benoit Beaufils, respectively CEO & founding partner of brand consultancy Innate Motion, present the tools that the company uses to develop purposeful, mission-driven brands with their clients. Benoit & Christophe view their tools as a free “thoughtware” suite, and propose that readers borrow and reapply.

New UNGC Guide Helps Companies Report Their Positions on Climate Policy

MARKETING AND COMMS - The UN Global Compact (UNGC) today released a guide for companies to manage and report on their direct and indirect influences on climate policy. Now for the first time, companies have guidelines to help them engage in climate policy in a transparent and accountable way that is consistent with their sustainability commitments.

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