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General Mills Launches $1.1 Million Sustainable Sourcing Program in Peru

SUPPLY CHAIN - As part of General Mills’ long-term sustainable sourcing program, the consumer packaged goods (CPG) giant and its Foundation on Thursday announced a four-year joint commitment with supplier partner AgroMantaro to provide $1.1 million to help smallholder artichoke farmers in Peru increase yields and improve profitability.The goals of the new program, which will reach nearly 100 small-scale artichoke farmers in Peru, are to:

Back to the Future: The Early Days of New Metrics (or How to Speak Your CFO's Language)

NEW METRICS - Many innovators want to express the uniqueness of their pioneering breakthroughs - a new organic product, a sustainability initiative, a green-building retrofit. But these new, exciting ideas are likely emphasizing benefits that are not easily heard. "New" and "exciting" are two words that typically attract attention to gain new customers and market share, like your latest mobile device or electric car.But CFOs, CEOs and Boards are skeptical of new and exciting; they like "old" and "boring" — like delivering on budget, on time and on the expectations of promises to Wall Street analysts and investors.

Cascadian Farm Launches First Bio-Based Cereal Box Liner

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Cascadian Farm, makers of more than 75 organic products, yesterday announced that it has introduced its first-ever cereal box liner made from renewable plant sources.The company says its Cinnamon Crunch cereal is now packaged in an inner bag made from up to 57 percent certified plant-based material. Cascadian Farm says this new liner is the latest among its various sustainability initiatives that support its mission of helping to shape a better world."At Cascadian Farm, we know that every choice we make can help shape a better world now and for the future," said Jennifer Jorgenson, marketing director for Cascadian Farm. "A desire to protect our Earth's resources led us to develop this groundbreaking inner bag."

UN Report Shows Significant Gap Between Corporate Sustainability Intentions and Actions

MARKETING AND COMMS - There is a major gap between what companies say and do about sustainability, with 65 percent developing policies at the CEO level and only 35 percent taking action, according to a recent survey by the United Nations Global Compact.The Global Corporate Sustainability Report 2013 includes survey responses from 1,712 companies from 113 countries, and reviews the actions taken by companies to integrate responsible practices outlined in the Global Compact Management Model into their strategies, operations and culture. The survey paints a picture of how companies are addressing sustainability issues including human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption.

Apple Now Offering In-Store iPhone Recycling

WASTE NOT - Apple is now making it easier for customers to recycle their old iPhones and get new ones with its new in-store iPhone Reuse and Recycling Program according to a recent announcement. The program, which began in stores across the U.S. on August 30, allows iPhone users — with a valid iPhone contract — to trade in their used phone (as long as it is in working condition) for store credit, which can be used towards the purchase of a new one.

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Investors, Human Rights Advocates Set Expectations for Transparency Around Conflict Minerals

MARKETING AND COMMS - As companies prepare their first required reports on conflict mineral use to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the SEC, key investors and human rights groups have released a paper that sets expectations for the contents of the inaugural reports required by Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Consumers Now Expect Companies to Step Up During Disaster Relief Efforts

MARKETING AND COMMS - As communities around the world continue to recover from natural disasters on epic scales, citizens will and are looking to companies — not just governments or aid organizations — to provide critical relief assistance. According to the 2013 Cone Communications Disaster Relief Trend Tracker, 87% of global consumers believe companies must play a role in natural disaster response — in part because the majority (69%) thinks corporations are better able to effectively respond.

Are You a Happy Shopper?

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - Psychologists have found that buying life experiences makes people happier than buying possessions, but who spends more of their spare cash on experiences? We now know that extroverts and people who are open to new experiences tend to spend more of their disposable income on experiences, such as concert tickets or a weekend away, rather than hitting the mall for material items.In a recent study, we examined the responses of people who completed online questionnaires about their shopping habits, personality traits, values and life satisfaction. These habitual “experiential shoppers” reap long-term benefits from their spending: They reported greater happiness.

Rainforest Foundation Takes On Skincare Companies With New Ranking

SUPPLY CHAIN - Honesty skin care, REN face and body care products, Pure Nuff Stuff skincare products and Little Satsuma face and body moisturiser all received perfect scores in the Rainforest Foundation UK (RFUK)'s latest investigation into the sustainability of palm oil content in health and beauty products.In partnership with Ethical Consumer magazine, RFUK's Appetite for Destruction? consumer guide was created in response to the increasing threat that unsustainable palm oil is posing to the world’s rainforests, and consequently, to the people that rely almost entirely on these forests for their livelihoods.

Sustainable Brands® Expands Innovation Open Business Competition to London

PRESS RELEASE - SAN FRANCISCO, September 5, 2013 – Sustainable Brands® recently announced that it is expanding its start-up competition to London, England. Environmental and social-impact entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas are encouraged to apply and compete at the Sustainable Brands Innovation Open (SBIO) in conjunction with the SB London conference taking place on November 18-19 at the Lancaster London.

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This Tiny Patch Could Be a Game Changer for Global Health

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Kite Patch is the latest breakthrough technology in the global fight against malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases. A non-toxic adhesive patch that makes you virtually invisible to mosquitos, Kite brings a scalable solution to protect the world’s most vulnerable populations.

Nike’s New Shanghai Store Is 100% Rubbish

WASTE NOT - Sportswear giant Nike’s new concept store in Shanghai has been constructed using waste materials including more than 5,000 drinks cans and 50,000 old CDs and DVDs.Built by Miniwiz Sustainable Development, an architectural firm based in Taiwan, the building has been designed to be 100% adjustable using a suspension ceiling system to adapt to different retail setups during the course of a year.All of the building’s materials were ‘urban mined’ and recycled from consumer lifestyle rubbish. And no glue has been used, meaning that all materials can be 100% re-recycled separately, too.

PRé Announces Expansion of its Global Partner Network in North America | PRé and Quantis Encouraging Sustainability Adoption

PRESS RELEASE - PRé announced today a significant expansion of its Global Partner Network in North America and the distribution of SimaPro software. PRé is now offering its SimaPro software through its American office. The company is also entering into a strategic partnership with Quantis, designed to expand the companies’ reach, as they strive to further encourage sustainability adoption. See full Press Release attached

Sprint Breaks Guinness World Record for Most Cell Phones Recycled in One Week

WASTE NOT - Sprint has long been the industry leader in cell phone recycling. Now the wireless carrier has a Guinness World Records® achievement to prove it.This week 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.“We are committed to keeping old cell phones out of landfills and are so pleased that our customers supported us during this record-setting week, as they regularly do throughout the year,” said Jaime Jones, senior vice president of consumer sales at Sprint.

Sprint Breaks GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® Record for the Most Cell Phones Recycled in One Week

PRESS RELEASE - OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Sept. 4, 2013 – Sprint (NYSE: S) has long been the industry leader in cell phone recycling. Now the wireless carrier has a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® achievement to prove it. This week 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. “We are committed to keeping old cell phones out of landfills and are so pleased that our customers supported us during this record-setting week, as they regularly do throughout the year,” said Jaime Jones, senior vice president of consumer sales at Sprint.

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MillerCoors Decreases Water Use By 6%

WASTE NOT - MillerCoors reduced water use by 6.1 percent to a record low 3.82 barrels needed per barrel of beer in 2012, according to the 2013 MillerCoors Sustainability Report, released yesterday.By comparison, the nation’s second-largest brewer says some U.S. breweries use as much as 6.62 barrels of water to produce a single barrel of beer.

GM Donation Insulates 400 More Coats for the Homeless

WASTE NOT - General Motors has made an additional donation of scrap sound-absorption material from its Chevy Malibu and Buick Verano models to a Detroit nonprofit for use as insulation in waterproof, self-heating coats that become sleeping bags for the homeless.

How Do We 'Hardwire' Sustainability Into Business?

NEW METRICS - While there are myriad perspectives on sustainability and corporate responsibility, each with its own unique value, I often find myself focusing on sustainability’s operational aspects: What can we do to increase the pace at which belief in sustainability translates into concrete actions that benefit the environment, society and business? To me*, a key question is how we get more done, how we “hardwire” sustainability into the way businesses operate.

If It Involves People (And What Doesn't?), Start with a Powerful Engagement Strategy

ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE - What single success driver do branding, design, innovation, sustainability, public policy, product development, sales, social sector program management and organizational change have in common? The answer is simple: engagement. Whenever we do something for people or involving people, engagement must be at the center. If we leave out engagement we’ll quickly become cut off from the very people whose benefit we are working for, and separated from the people we need to help forward our objectives. Then we’ll be left wondering what went wrong.

Report: Product Sustainability Investments Will Accelerate as Business Benefits Revealed

MARKETING AND COMMS - Corporate spending on product sustainability initiatives will likely accelerate as sustainable product pioneers such as H&M, Nokia and PUMA share evidence of the business benefits they have achieved, according to a new report from independent analyst firm Verdantix. The study draws on data from a survey of 250 heads of sustainability in 13 countries, as well as interviews with product sustainability experts at PE International, PRé Consultants, Pure Strategies and Quantis.

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