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M&S Uses the Power of Co-Design to Drive Behaviour Change

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - Marks and Spencer (M&S) recently piloted training toolkits for its supplier factories in the UK and Sri Lanka, as part of its Plan A commitment to being a Fair Partner. These toolkits were a result of a collaborative design process between M&S and its factories, led by A Very Good Company (AVGC). The process of co-creation has helped to engage suppliers with M&S’s sustainability agenda, leading to the creation of a product that connects with the needs of M&S, its factory managers and their employees. This collaborative approach to creating behaviour change within a factory environment has transferable learning for brands as they seek to engage consumers with new, more sustainable propositions.

Key Global Stakeholders Express Support for REDD+ Protocol in California's Climate Policy

MARKETING AND COMMS - As the California Air Resources Board prepares to consider moving forward on international initiatives to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation & Forest Degradation (REDD+) within the state's climate policy, a large consortium of key stakeholders — from multinational corporations to global NGOs and indigenous community leaders — have rallied in support of REDD+.

Inditex Re-Affirms Its Commitment to Sustainability, Health & Safety

MARKETING AND COMMS - Spanish multinational clothing company Inditex says that in 2012 it conducted nearly 1.5 million tests on its clothing worldwide to ensure health and safety standards, as well as carrying out more than 3,500 audits on suppliers under its Code of Conduct.Inditex chairman Pablo Isla made the announcements this week at the company’s Annual General Meeting at its headquarters in Arteixo, La Coruña, Spain.

"With Great Power ...": How to Give Consumers Formal Responsibility for Addressing Sustainability

MARKETING AND COMMS - The Internet and by extension social media have made it possible for consumers to obtain information easily and to voice their opinions about products, companies, and people. Consumers also have the power to speak directly to product and service providers in a way that was previously unheard of. It was Voltaire that said, “With great power comes great responsibility” — with that power what is the consumer’s great responsibility?

Sustainable People, Part I: The Excellence Trap

ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE - The triple bottom line that inspires us is about planet, people and profits. Most of the time, we find ourselves talking about planet and profit, and all their complexities. When we talk about people it is usually about either 1. making sure they have a sustainable planet to enjoy, or 2. working to awaken a concern for planetary sustainability.But what about sustainable people? What about people who are themselves sustainable? What about people who can flourish when challenged, keep delivering over time, bring their best, stay inspired, live and work from integrity, and not burn out? And what about building and sustaining organizations populated by those kind of people?

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Study Shows Farmers Working with Rainforest Alliance and Nespresso Earn 87% More

SUPPLY CHAIN - A recent independent study by the Colombian organization CRECE, which assessed the social, environmental and economic impacts among 1,000 farmers has found that farmers in the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality Program have a net income 87.4 percent higher than those not involved with the program.The AAA program, which was co-developed over the last ten years by the Rainforest Alliance and Nespresso, encourages farmers to adopt best practices such as protecting water sources and preventing soil erosion from their land.

Unilever, Molson Coors, Co-operative Top Sustainability Champion Awards

MARKETING AND COMMS - The Co-operative Group, Unilever and Molson Coors are among the winners of the 2degrees 2013 Sustainability Champions Awards, which each year recognizes success in the execution of sustainability initiatives.

How a Towel Rail Changed a Village

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - I was asked recently about my favourite behaviour change stories in the energy space. I didn’t have to think long: my favourite is the one about the £200-a-year towel rail. Yep, you heard that right: a towel rail.

Conscious Leadership Reminds Us: We Are All the Same

LEADERSHIP - Last year, aspiring artist Jonathan Harris visited Bhutan to learn about why this country is so imbued with happiness. Bhutan is noted for measuring its Gross Happiness Product, rather than what we do in western cultures, which is to measure our Gross National Product. This model cares more about social and spiritual well-being than financial well-being. Jonathan's project, Balloons for Bhutan, documents his effort to capture “a portrait of happiness in the last Himalayan kingdom.”

2013 ESPYs Achieve Zero Waste to Landfill, Carbon Neutrality for Fifth Year Running

WASTE NOT - ESPN has announced that its annual awards show, the ESPYs, will be carbon neutral and achieve zero waste-to-landfill for the fifth and sixth consecutive years, respectively.To achieve carbon neutrality, the sports network says it will apply energy conservation strategies to minimize the use of fossil fuels and prevent pollution. After reducing energy consumption wherever possible through special applications, the remaining greenhouse gas emissions will be mitigated through carbon offsets.Some carbon reduction strategies include:· Solar power to be used on red carpet, press center, golf course.· Multi-passenger vehicles instead of individual limos to reduce vehicle miles driven.· Hybrid and flex fuel vehicles used for other transfers.

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Paying It Forward: How DMV.org Is Taking Sustainability to the Streets

ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE - In the afterglow of the Sustainable Brands 2013 conference, many companies found themselves inspired to bring positive change back to their business and local communities. At DMV.org, we recognized a huge opportunity to reach a vast network of people and drive actionable change both through our online services and our local community.As first-time attendees to the conference, the entire team walked away inspired, hopeful and committed to becoming change-makers within our company, community and planet. But what can a company that simplifies DMV information online bring to the sustainability table?As it turns out, quite a bit.What We’re Doing

Obama's Climate Plan Latest in Series of Public-Private Actions to Advance REDD+

LEADERSHIP - President Obama’s National Climate Action Plan, released on June 25th, calls for strong action to protect remaining tropical forests through a commitment to lead international initiatives in Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+).But Obama is not the first to acknowledge the vital role that forests play in climate change mitigation and adaptation. Nor is he the only one currently calling for urgent action on tropical forest conservation.

Dell Announces Social, Environmental Achievements as Part of 'Powering the Possible'

WASTE NOT - Dell has announced key corporate responsibility achievements, such as collecting one billion pounds of electronic waste a year earlier than planned, with the release of its Fiscal Year 2013 (FY13) Corporate Responsibility Summary Report.The report outlines Dell’s environmental progress and efforts to support communities globally to achieve its sustainability goals, which are based on its Powering the Possible platform, a commitment to put technology and expertise to work where it can do the most good for people and the planet.The strategy focuses on four primary areas: Environment

Branding for Sustainability: A Manifesto!

MARKETING AND COMMS - I wrote recently about branding for sustainability, rather than the branding of sustainability. The main point is that branding is no longer merely about communication techniques that get tacked on to a business. Instead, branding shapes the entire landscape of engagement, experience and affinity between a company or other entity and its customers and other stakeholders or audiences. So it’s time for a manifesto.

Big, Bold, Creative ... and Normal: How Brands Can Shift Sustainability Into the Mainstream

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - Bob Dylan understood the sustainability challenge long ago when he sang, “People seldom do what they believe in / They do what is convenient, then repent” in “Brownsville Girl.”For sustainability to become mainstream, we need to reframe the debate — in terms of both language and relevant benefits. I believe mass-market and well-loved brands are best placed to drive and accomplish this critical shift.So do we just need to leverage brands to make people care about the environment?

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Walmart-Backed Alliance Vows to Fix Bangladesh, But Critics Fear Lack of Liability

SUPPLY CHAIN - An alliance of 17 North American brands led by Walmart, Gap and Target has unveiled the details of its independent Bangladesh Worker Safety Initiative — a five-year pact that aims to improve conditions at Bangladesh garment factories and establish more viable worker communications.

Unilever's 'Green Express' Train Is Latest Way to Cut Its Supply Chain Footprint

SUPPLY CHAIN - Unilever has launched a new rail service in Italy called Green Express, as part of a wider eco-efficiency programme within its supply chain to support the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan.The service delivers Unilever’s Algida brand ice cream from its factory near Naples, 700km to the logistics hub in Parma.The direct connection, linking three lines, means that 3,500 trucks will be taken off the road each year, saving 40 million mega-joules of energy per year.

New 'I Want to Be Recycled' Campaign Targeting 62% of Americans Who Are Not Avid Recyclers

MARKETING AND COMMS - The average American produces 4.4 pounds of trash a day, and on the whole the United States produces over 250 million tons of trash a year. However, only about 35 percent is currently recycled, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). To address this national concern, the Ad Council and Keep America Beautiful (KAB) today launched a public service advertising (PSA) campaign designed to raise awareness about the benefits of recycling with the goal to make recycling a daily social norm.

Stop Speaking Martian: How to Effectively Translate the Language of Sustainability

MARKETING AND COMMS - As the sustainability profession grapples with how it can invite and entice a new internal conversation with a broader, ‘beyond-sustainability-silo’ brand and business audience, we are struggling with many fundamental challenges. Language is one of these. But why so?

Remade in the USA: A Conversation with Designer Shannon South

WASTE NOT - In the world of sustainable fashion, few designers are pulling off the business model with as much style and substance as Shannon South. BBMG’s proprietary community of Aspirational consumers, The Collective, recently partnered with Shannon for the Remake My Leather Challenge, and we sat down with her to discuss what makes Shannon’s line, Remade USA, different from other sustainably designed product lines.How did you get started as a handbag designer?

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