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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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Volkswagen Wants Brands, Plants to 'Think Blue' for Sustainability Leadership

MARKETING AND COMMS - Volkswagen finished last of the global automakers that occupied five of the top seven spots in Interbrand's recently released Best Global Green Brands 2013 report. That was a pretty good showing, but the German giant seems determined to hoist itself even higher in terms of the effectiveness of its sustainability efforts — and regard for them — around the globe.

Dell Highlights Environmental, Giving and Community Achievements in FY13 Corporate Responsibility Summary Report

PRESS RELEASE - • Reaches ambitious recycling goal one year ahead of schedule • Donates funds, solutions, and expertise to further children’s cancer care and disaster relief efforts • Expands Connected Workplace program now being offered in 37 locations across 26 countries Tweet This: @Dell launches FY13 Corporate Responsibility Summary Report #DellCSR http://dell.to/11CcL5N.

Sustain Condoms: How a Father-Daughter Duo Plan to Transform a Toxic Industry

SUPPLY CHAIN - Jeffrey Hollender, co-founder of Seventh Generation, and his daughter Meika are extending the ethos and ethics of the pioneering sustainable care products brand to the world’s first sustainable condom, carrying the slogan, "Do what's natural." Toxin-free, fair trade Sustain condoms are made in India and are set to be in stores by January 2014 — the first product from the father-daughter team behind Hollender Sustainable Brands.

Coca-Cola and WWF Expand Global Partnership, Announce New Environmental Goals

COLLABORATION - Coca-Cola has announced a new set of environmental goals, including returning 100 percent of the water from its manufacturing facilities back to the environment at a level that supports aquatic life by 2020.Coca-Cola says it is extending its nearly decade-long partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to achieve these new conservation and performance targets, promoting the integration of nature’s value into decision-making processes and convening influential partners to help solve shared global environmental challenges.Under the renewed and expanded partnership, Coca-Cola and WWF jointly developed new sustainability goals for the Coca-Cola system — the Company and its nearly 300 bottling partners in more than 200 countries.These goals include:

Paper Company Rejects FSC to Dodge Inquiry About Indonesian Deforestation Practices

SUPPLY CHAIN - Paper giant Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) has withdrawn from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which Greenpeace, the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) and WWF claim is an attempt to dodge an independent inquiry into the paper company’s deforestation practices in Indonesia.Prior to APRIL’s withdrawal, the three environmental organizations lodged a complaint that the company was in violation of FSC’s Policy for Association through its continued large-scale conversion of natural forests in Indonesia to plantations, including the destruction of high conservation value (HCV) forests. The organizations also claim the company has persistent social conflicts in its operations.

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New Documentary 'Sparks' Collaboration That Could Benefit People in Need Locally and Globally

MARKETING AND COMMS - At the dawn of the 21st century, America’s spiraling energy consumption hijacks our democracy and gambles our planet’s future. Meanwhile, 50 million Americans live in poverty, while our government stalls behind party lines. Next spring a new documentary, The Spark, will reveal a blueprint for realistic, immediate solutions.

Follow-Up to SB'13: Bob Willard on the Emergence of Capitalism 2.0

NEW METRICS - Bob Willard is an expert on quantifying and selling the business value of corporate sustainability strategies. He serves on the advisory boards of The Natural Step Canada and Forum for the Future US, and his fourth book, The New Sustainability Advantage was published in 2012.

Mondelez International Helping 1,500 Vietnamese Coffee Farmers Become Sustainable Entrepreneurs

SUPPLY CHAIN - Global food and beverage giant Mondelez International has unveiled a new training facility for coffee farmers to promote sustainability and entrepreneurship in Vietnam. The company says this is a major step toward implementing its "Coffee Made Happy" sustainability program, which commits to investing at least $200 million to help one million coffee farming entrepreneurs by 2020.

Global Sustainable Tourism Council Initiative Promotes Careers in Sustainable Tourism

COLLABORATION - The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) has announced a partnership with the Global Travel & Tourism Partnership (GTTP) to launch an industry philanthropic initiative aimed at promoting sustainable tourism development and educating secondary school students on career opportunities in travel and tourism in more than 5,600 schools across 11 countries.As part of the agreement, GSTC will endorse GTTP curricular materials and GSTC members will have an opportunity to mentor GTTP students about sustainability practices in the travel and tourism industry. GTTP will endorse the mission of the GSTC and reference its Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria in GTTP curricular materials.

Retailers, Manufacturers Launching Consumer Water Efficiency Label for Bathroom Products

MARKETING AND COMMS - A group of leading DIY retailers, builders’ merchants and manufacturers in the UK – including Argos, B&Q, Chandlers’ Building Supplies, Homebase, Travis Perkins, Saint Gobain, Wolseley UK and Southern Water — are joining forces to launch a voluntary labelling scheme to help consumers identify the water efficiency of bathroom fittings such as taps, showers, toilets and baths, according to the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP).

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Adidas Implements New Strategies to Lead in Supply Chain Transparency

SUPPLY CHAIN - Adidas recently released its 2012 sustainability report, which outlines the many successes, as well as the challenges and shortcomings, the athletic wear manufacturer has experienced in the past year. The company has improved transparency within its supply chain, introduced more sustainable manufacturing processes — such as its waterless DryDye t-shirt line — and improved energy efficiency in many of its stores.

Nike Unveils New App to Help Designers Create More Sustainable Apparel

SUPPLY CHAIN - As part of its commitment to helping design a better, more sustainable future, Nike this week launched a new app called MAKING, to help designers and product creators make informed decisions about the environmental impacts of the materials they choose.

Carbon Trust Announces New Waste Standard

WASTE NOT - On Wednesday, the Carbon Trust announced plans to launch the world’s first international standard for organisations to certify that they are managing and reducing waste.The Carbon Trust Waste Standard, to be launched later this year, will require organisations to measure, manage and reduce their solid and hazardous waste. To achieve the standard organisations will need to demonstrate that waste streams are being reduced every year or disposed of more effectively, through increased reuse, recycling or energy recovery.

The Top 8 Things We Learned from Marks & Spencer's 2013 Plan A Report

MARKETING AND COMMS - Year after year, Marks & Spencer sets a high standard for environmental sustainability in the UK retail world. Its large scale and high level of social consciousness give it the unique position to promote change throughout the industry. As a part of its Plan A initiative, launched in January 2007, M&S makes a varied range of responsibility efforts, from beach-cleaning and cancer fundraising to recycling programs and organic produce.Let’s take a look at the year's most important changes and surprises, as revealed in the company's recently released 2013 Plan A Report:

Playing the Big Game: Are We Branding for Sustainability?

MARKETING AND COMMS - When it comes to sustainable brands, we can play the big game or the small game. What I call “Branding of Sustainability” is the small game. It simply means applying old-school brand action, such as advertising and other marketing communications, even leading-edge techniques, to brands that are already sustainable. But “Branding for Sustainability” is the big game. It is about applying new-school brand thinking to the entire world of the brand, starting with discovering and defining brand-specific paths to sustainability itself. Much like its close relative, design thinking, brand thinking starts at the cradle and brings stakeholders and end users to the table, making everyone an insider to a degree, not merely guests at the party at the end.

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