Posted by Paula Oliveira on November 29, 2013 02:02 PM
One year ago, speakers at the Sustainable Brands Conference in London focused on three key themes: unified vision, collaboration and simplicity. In 2013, many speakers addressed the same themes once more. Does that mean nothing has changed? Or have we lost our imagination?
In fact, things have changed. Fewer business professionals question nowadays if sustainability (or triple bottom line, social responsibility, corporate citizenship, or whatever you want to call it) is good for business, and it is now more intrinsically linked to business strategy. More sustainability advocates are capable of proving with strong business cases that the investment pays off.
For instance, UK retailer Marks & Spencer says in its annual report that the net benefit generated by Plan A (M&S’s commitment to sustainable business) was £135 million, an increase of 29 percent over the previous year, and during the conference, Adam Elman, M&S Global Head of Delivery, said Plan A has delivered 193 percent return on investment. Not bad, is it? Another example is Kering (formerly PPR, owner of brands such as Gucci and Puma), which pioneered a methodology to value the ‘ecosystem services’ it uses to produce Puma’s sports shoes and clothes. But it's not all about costs: “At Kering, sustainability is seen as an opportunity. Sustainability creates value and stimulates innovation," said Marie-Claire Daveu, the company's Chief Sustainability Officer, who joined the business due to its CEO’s strong commitment to sustainability. “Leadership commitment is everything in this area."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 12, 2013 06:41 PM
Fair trade and sustainability aren't just terms associated with food and CPG brands. More clothing brands are taking a closer look at how their garments are made, what they're made of and who is doing the work, and iconic clothier Levi Strauss & Co. is the latest to join the effort.
The company's new Dockers Wellthread line includes a men's collection that combines sustainable design, environmental practices, and support of an eco-system that provides for all apparel workers. The line will be available online and in-stores in Europe.
“How you make a garment is just as important as the garment itself,” Michael Kobori, the company's VP of social and environmental sustainability, told WWD. “We believe that we can use our iconic brands to drive positive sustainable change and profitable results. With that comes the responsibility to continually innovate for each new generation of consumers.”Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 12, 2013 02:26 PM
Things are-a-changing at Target, largely because the chain is trying to play catchup in some crucial areas. It may still lead the style parade among discount retailers and have the niftiest Christmas ads—but Target trails Amazon and Walmart in different crucial areas and is busily trying to close the gap.
Sustainability is one of those areas, and some evaluators say that Walmart—long a brand in the hotseat over environmental responsibility—lately has surged out to a lead in its sector with a massive sustainable-supplier initiative. Target has now launched its own. Neither is sharing the results of their consumer research but instead, for now at least, focusing on pushing their suppliers for improvement and compliance.
Last month, Target began collecting information from vendors supplying about 7,500 products in the household cleaning, personal care, beauty and baby-care categories. Using criteria supplied by GoodGuide, it will evaluate a product's qualities in terms of sustainability in order to establish its Sustainable Product Standard.Continue reading...
Posted by Brandchannel Staff on November 11, 2013 05:12 PM
Brandchannel is a proud media sponsor of Sustainable Brands London 2013, taking place Nov. 18-19. The following is a guest post from Paula Oliveira, director of brand valuation and analytics for Interbrand London, who will once again be participating in the conference. Follow her on Twitter at @PaulaOliveiraBV and follow the conversations at #SBLondon
This time next week, brand leaders will once again convene at Sustainable Brands London to discuss, debate, analyze and leverage the role of brands in creating a better future for all. Guided by the insights of MC Jo Confino, editorial director of The Guardian's Sustainable Business channel, the program this year will have a great focus on sustainable innovation.
As noted in our white paper on sustainable innovation, we here at Interbrand firmly believe that sustainability should not be an add-on to business strategy. Rather, it should be part of it, so embedded in the way you do business that you cannot separate one from the other. We've also learned that consumers will not buy your products or services "just" because they are sustainable. Products and services exist to address a need, and if the table stakes are not there, consumers might like you for your values, but they will not spend their money with you.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 29, 2013 03:45 PM
It seems only right that the company responsible for everyone's love/hate relationship with assembly-required furniture is now helping customers resell their goods.
IKEA created a campaign alongside SMFB, Oslo that asked Norwegian customers to submit requests for their lightly-used furniture to be resold. After choosing 50 pieces, the retailer advertised them in broadcast, print and outdoor ads, complete with the seller's phone number so prospective buyers could get in touch. Dubbed the "Second Hand Campaign," the effort fits nicely within IKEA's sustainability efforts.
IKEA’s Norwegian Facebook page showcased the second-hand pieces in a virtual flea market on Sundays for over two months until all the pieces sold.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 28, 2013 04:13 PM
Brands are—forgive the pun—warming to solar power. Retail brands, in particular, according to the latest report from the U.S. Solar Energy Industries Association, which names Walmart, Costco, Kohl's, Apple and IKEA as its top five "solar champions" in the U.S., as ranked by installed capacity.
Their respective retail footprints are using stores' huge rooftop spaces to expand into solar. Walmart, as the biggest U.S. retailer, leads the pack in the race for commercial solar power, "converting more sun into energy than 38 U.S. states," as Bloomberg puts it. The retail giant has partnered with SolarCity to install solar power at 60 stores in California, part of a company-wide goal to equip 130 stores, or 75% of its stores in the state, with the renewable form of energy.
Apple, which recently hired former EPA head Lisa Jackson as its first VP of environment initiatives to spur its goal of 100 percent renewable energy, is building utility-scale solar projects next to its data centers in partnership with SunPower. The sustainability moves advance the companies' environmental, and financial, goals—naturally.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 23, 2013 10:47 AM
"Food waste" is being recognized increasingly around the globe as a key issue that impinges directly on sustainability and hunger, and more companies are moving to harvest the low-hanging fruit available in an attack on the problem.
Tesco is the latest. The UK's dominant grocery chain just disclosed the enormity of the food wasted in its own operations and its initial steps aimed at reducing the problem, which should have an actual effect—and endear Brits who are rightly concerned about all the food they squander.
The chain's research revealed that 40 percent of apples are wasted, with just over a quarter of that waste occurring in the home. The same fate awaits a quarter of grapes, with the majority occurring in the home, and one-fifth of all bananas.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 21, 2013 11:07 AM
With 9 billion people in the world by 2050, and natural resources already depleted almost beyond restoration, Johnson & Johnson is launching a campaign on Tumblr to encourage people to recycle bathroom products.
Care To Recycle, the first recycling awareness campaign of its kind to be hosted exclusively on Tumblr, focuses on the “Smallest Room” in the house—the bathroom.
Market research conducted by the Shelton Group found that 40 percent of Americans report recycling no bathroom items at all, as it either never occurred to them, or, as 20 percent reported, they didn't even know that products in the bathroom are recyclable.
"After reviewing the results of the research, we saw a very real opportunity to help reduce waste by educating people about recyclable bathroom items,” said Paulette Frank, VP, Sustainability for Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies, in a press release. “With its active community of highly engaged content seekers, Tumblr seemed like the ideal platform to help spread the word about recycling in the smallest room of the house and how it can make a big difference to our planet."Continue reading...