Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 9, 2012 05:05 PM
Businesses and brands are increasingly beholden to healthy communities and constituents for their bottom-line growth.
Coca-Cola just released its ninth annual Sustainability Report and second Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Report, making the point that sustainability and corporate citizenship aren't sidebars to the company. "We're working to embed sustainability-minded innovations into every aspect of our business, from sourcing ingredients to increasing beverage options to aspiring to be water neutral and recovering packages for recycling," stated Muhtar Kent, Coca-Cola's CEO.
"Coca-Cola is intent on growing our business by making a difference wherever our business touches the world and the world touches our business,” added Bea Perez, the company’s first Chief Sustainability Officer, who was hired in July 2011.
The company's Sustainability Report is presented as a fully interactive website (tagline: "Every bottle has a story") features videos, social media capabilities, third-party opinions on global challenges and an updated digital design accessible through smartphones, tablets and mobile devices.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 9, 2012 04:01 PM
Everywhere you look are advertisements: on your clothes, on your gas-pump handle, on manhole covers, or on the front of your subway card. But one man is aiming to create a special spot where consumers will be advertising-free. Strangely, though, it’s a place that has long been a home for advertisements: the billboard.
Artist Stephen Glassman believes that drivers shouldn’t have to be looking at advertisements when they are stuck in traffic. Instead, wouldn’t it be nice if they were looking at gardens floating in the sky? Glassman, who has been creating large-scale bamboo installations in L.A. since the 1992 riots there, would like to transform the world’s billboards into a sea of floating bamboo gardens, NPR reports.
Well, if we can bring clouds indoors, why not help more of nature float outdoors?Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 6, 2012 12:02 PM
What brand doesn't want to look environmentally conscious and earth-friendly? And we're not just talking about the predicted rise in plug-in hybrid cars for Ford and Toyota or the recent increase in vegetarian and vegan businesses. Now mass-market pharmacy Walgreens is getting into the act.
The drug store chain this week launched its own Ology brand that features 25 environmentally friendly products, such as “tissues, toilet paper and paper towels made from bamboo and cane sugar husks instead of tree pulp” as well as “laundry detergent with fewer chemicals than regular brands, shampoos and conditioners for both children and adults, compact fluorescent light bulbs, and glass and all-purpose household cleaners,” according to Crain's Chicago Business.
"There's a growing trend of moms and households looking for safer products with fewer chemicals," Maurice Alkemade, Walgreen's VP of retail brands and global sourcing, told Crain's. "A lot of national brands are pushing to take out these chemicals, but we're the first affordable and widely available line to do it. We believe we can lead and own this platform."Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on November 1, 2012 09:29 AM
In 2010 Volvo launched a green living experiment, called One Tonne Life, to see if one family could learn to live more sustainably. That experiment, which involved other Swedish brands (Siemens, A-hus, Vattenfall, ICA), saw the Lindell family adopt a low-impact lifestyle that reduced their carbon dioxide emissions from 7.3 tonnes per year, the Swedish average for a family, to 1.5 tonnes — just shy of the one tonne goal of the project.
Now Unilever is running a UK-wide consumer challenge with 12 families to see if they can lead more sustainable lifestyles and save money on household bills. The goal is to address food waste, according to the press release for Unilever’s Sustain Ability Challenge.
Developed in partnership with The Futures Company, the challenge aims to bust the myth that it costs more to live in an environmentally-friendly fashion. The Futures Company's recent survey of 1,975 UK consumers found that seven out of 10 (68 per cent) identified the main barrier to living a more environmentally-conscious lifestyle is that it costs more — a myth that Unilever wants to overturn.
“We know that nearly 70 per cent of our environmental impact occurs when consumers use our products at home so changing consumer behaviour is one of the biggest challenges we face in achieving our Sustainable Living Plan goals," commented Amanda Sourry, chairman of Unilever UK and Ireland.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 26, 2012 03:01 PM
IKEA was the poster-brand for banning disposable shopping bags in American retail, and that early commitment keeps growing and getting greener.
The IKEA Group has just announced an ambitious sustainability strategy, People & Planet Positive (as seen above), as a brand striving for energy independence. Their commitment is to produce as much energy as they consume by 2020 through a $1.95 billion investment in solar and wind projects.
In the near term, as outlined in its sustainability microsite and report, the mega-furniture retailer plans to gather 70% of its energy demands from renewable energy sources by 2015, leveraging wind farms in six European countries that generated 152 gigawatt hours of electricity last year, about 12% of the total needed for its stores and distribution centers.
“The People and Planet Positive plan is designed to protect the company from price shocks and tap into customers' desire for a greener lifestyle," the Guardian reports. "Alongside its energy and resource goals, the plan commits the company to helping Ikea's 770 million customers save money through the use of more efficient products, improving sustainability throughout its supply chain, and supporting human rights and education efforts.”Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 22, 2012 03:47 PM
In 2011, the Levi's brand released 1.5 million pairs of Water‹Less jeans, which will increase to 29 million by year-end for a savings of 360 million liters of water to date. Now it's taking its sustainability efforts to the proverbial garbage dump, with a new Waste<Less denim collection that will, once again, put the world's largest maker of jeans worldwide (sales of $4.8 billion in 2011) at the forefront of sustainable brands.
Part of the Levi's Spring 2013 collection launching in January, the Waste‹Less denim collection will comprise about 400,000 men’s and women’s jeans and jean jackets made of eight crushed brown and green plastic bottles per pair and composed of at least 20% recycled plastic, in a process that reused about 3.5 million bottles and saved enough water to fill 144 Olympic-size swimming pools.
“This collection proves that you don’t have to sacrifice quality, comfort or style to give an end a new beginning,” stated James Curleigh, global president of the Levi's brand. “We don’t just want to reduce our impact on the environment, we want to leave it better than we found it.”Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 11, 2012 04:03 PM
These are rough times for the electric-vehicle business, despite sky-high gasoline prices, extensive marketing of EVs, and a continual drumbeat of support by the news and entertainment media and governments at all levels.
Nissan has become so concerned about lackluster sales of its all-electric Leaf that it is trimming the price on its 2013 model. Ford is in no hurry to invest marketing resources in the launch of its new Focus Electric. And Toyota — which can count on the success of its Prius hybrid brand instead — has all but forsworn any significant EV presence in the market for at least the next few years.
Why? Despite incredible marketing investment and societal pressure thrown behind getting car-buyers to adopt all-electric vehicles, American consumers by and large are resisting the very notion of EVs. A new study even casts doubt on the net environmental benefits of electric cars, depending on how the power to charge their batteries is produced.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 9, 2012 03:04 PM
Biodegradable shoes and clothing doesn’t sound like a brilliant idea at first. Images of shirts suddenly washing off bodies in a heavy rain or sneakers unexpectedly disintegrating on a hot day come to mind.
But the brand stewards at Puma are asking consumers to just dump all those silly ideas into a compost heap. The company, which has been a leader on the environmental front, is now producing a limited collection of biodegradable clothes and shoes to start selling in 2013 in order to capitalize on the ever-growing global love for all things green. Finally, the brand will have some shoes and gear to go with its Clever Little Bag sustainable packaging that launched in 2010.
"We have decided that sustainability is a mega-trend," chief executive Franz Koch told Reuters, which sees the move as a bid to shore up the brand's green track record against competitors Nike and Adidas. "We want to contribute to a better world. At the same time, we also want to carve out our competitive advantage." ("Better world" was likely an unintentional reference to the umbrella brand for Nike's corporate citizenship and sustainability efforts).Continue reading...