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Energetic Talk of Partnerships, Continued Momentum of Movement-Building on Final Day of #SB14sd

The energy that carried us through an action-packed week at SB ’14 showed no signs of waning as we headed into the final afternoon of breakout sessions.

The energy that carried us through an action-packed week at SB ’14 showed no signs of waning as we headed into the final afternoon of breakout sessions.

Villa Nova also presented Natura’s newest brand, SOU, which is meant to show how a brand can influence consumers to change behavior and to make meaningful choices with purpose. The line of hair, skin and other products come in minimal packaging with 70 percent less plastic than conventional packaging and contain fewer ingredients and no colorants. The packaging design also allows the consumer to use the product “until the last drop.” Natura’s brand of purpose and value is played out in the name and logo of the product line: when SOU (the Portuguese word for “I am”) is turned upside down, it reads NÓS, the Portuguese word for “us.”

In a nearby session on recycling and take-back models moderated by Bonnie Nixon, Director of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability at Mattel, attendees heard from panelists Andrew Russell (Plastic Disclosure Project), Judy Glazer (HP), Monika Wiela (Give Back Box), and Bo Gilbert (Arrow Electronics). The discussion centered around the latest product take-back models and partnership models in electronics recycling, and introduced Give Back Box, a startup partnering with e-commerce retailers such as Overstock to ship prepaid shipping boxes that consumers can use to send pre-owned goods to charities. One of the main challenges that still exists today for recycling and take-back models is the disaggregated nature of recycling programs in the US and abroad, variability in extended producer responsibility legislation in the countries where it exists, and volatility in the market for commodities such as plastic, copper and other precious metals.

After the break, a panel led by Triple Pundit’s Nick Aster and featuring Ford’s Carrie Majeske and Quid’s Bethanie Krogstad explored the question: How can data transform sustainability?

Meanwhile, Derek Bothereau of SustainAbility moderated a panel on traceability with Arthur Karuletwa, director of traceability at Starbucks; and Amy Jackson, Senior Credibility Manager of ISEAL

Around the corner, BBMG’s Raphael Bemporad moderated a discussion about the ways in which health, status and life stage can be powerful motivators for behavior change at scale. Framing the conversation was the question: How might we unlock consumer motivation to create a more sustainable future? Panelists included Christopher Gavigan, founder of The Honest Company; Emily McGarvey, Sustainability at Target; and Sara Snow, advisory board member of Healthy Child Healthy World. Target announced a new partnership with The Honest Company; and a recurring theme throughout the conversation was focusing the brand message around purpose as opposed to product, and building trust with consumers by being honest and admitting to mistakes and imperfections as they occur.

Nearby, Sue Kochan started off her session by saying it would be an “experiential workshop that has nothing to do with branding and marketing.” The Brand Cool CEO, also a Buddhist teacher, began with a group meditation, inviting everyone to go inside themselves and breathe while she read a poem about what your “calling” in life could be telling you. Over the course of the hour, her colleague Renee Lertzman, who has a background in psychology, presented two “Change Maker Maps”: one an outer landscape and the other an inner landscape. The outer landscape map illustrated different ways of thinking about tackling a big issue like climate change, while the inner landscape map outlined insight on different ways people relate with change on an inner level. Overall, the workshop engaged people in thinking about moving closer to things humans struggle with instead of pushing them away and relieving ourselves of anxiety in order to make significant change on a larger level.

Across the hall, Rich Goode of Ernst & Young moderated a panel, “More than Buyers and Sellers: New Value Exchanges in the Procurement Process” with Cisco's Kathleen Shaver and Domtar's Daniel Persica. Through examples of value exchanges within their own companies, the panelists encouraged attendees to move beyond viewing the supply chain as a source of risk but rather a source of opportunity. Shaver spoke of Cisco’s collaboration with Good World Solutions, which allows their manufacturing workforce to provide feedback on a variety of factors quickly through a mobile platform. This enables Cisco and their manufacturers to make impactful decisions based on current information. Persica spoke about how Domtar provides value to its buyers beyond its sustainable paper goods. In addition to paper products, Domtar also helps companies evaluate when digital is actually appropriate to use instead of paper; this is how Domtar shows that its goal goes beyond selling more product but engaging in a rich partnership and collaboration with their buyers. The takeaways from this session were clear: Connect, Communicate and Collaborate — moving the relationship between buyers and sellers from command-control to collaboration brings value to both sides of the exchange.

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