Sustainability reports have become an important calling card that major companies now use to demonstrate their sustainability commitments.
"Sustainability reports should be seen as the raw material for dynamic sustainability storytelling that reaches online communities far broader than the traditional target audience quartet of investor, employee, NGO and media stakeholders."
The Guardian recently published an excellent article on "Why Green Brands Are Failing to Capture Public Attention." I agree with much of what’s written in the article, especially the observation that there may be plenty of demand that marketers just haven’t figured out how to capture. However, I’d submit that green brands fail precisely because companies have neglected to use traditional marketing paradigms for developing new products. Let’s look at two examples: Clorox Green Works and Nike’s Considered.
“If we can’t get the consumer involved, we will always be behind the curve,” Marks & Spencer CEO Marc Bolland said when he launched the retailer’s ‘Plan A’ sustainability stakeholder consultation.
The logic is compelling. Changing customer behavior is a natural part of the sustainable business strategies businesses must create to achieve long-term success. And instead of being seen as an extension of CSR strategies they will be seen more as Long-Term Marketing strategies that are creating the company’s preferred future operating environment.
Calls to shake up the sustainability community seem to be becoming increasingly frequent — the latest that I’ve read coming from the State of the World 2013 Report. With a warning that sustainability is in need of a “dramatic reboot,” it suggests a failure to deliver on the wealth of opportunities being promised.
To overcome this challenge, one thing’s for sure — there is a need for innovation and new ideas, just as there is for any step change in culture or business. When it comes to business, many companies have reached a point where the greatest need in delivering on their sustainability goals is to gain better cut-through with customers and employees. And in order to make this happen, a clearer focus is required on breakthrough ideas that will fire customers’ imaginations and excite their interest. In other words, marketing innovation needs to become an essential part of the sustainability mix.
In driving engagement and behavior change, the power is often in the subtleties. As we work toward mainstreaming sustainability, we should stop talking in terms of should, and instead we ought to start speaking in terms of ought.
The triple bottom line that inspires us is about planet, people and profits. Most of the time, we find ourselves talking about planet and profit, and all their complexities. When we talk about people it is usually about either 1. making sure they have a sustainable planet to enjoy, or 2. working to awaken a concern for planetary sustainability.
But what about sustainable people? What about people who are themselves sustainable? What about people who can flourish when challenged, keep delivering over time, bring their best, stay inspired, live and work from integrity, and not burn out? And what about building and sustaining organizations populated by those kind of people?
Manufacturers and retailers may be holding back on communicating their sustainability successes to customers, new research suggests.
More than three-quarters of industry executives from brand manufacturing and retail have concerns about “greenwashing” backlash and half mentioned a lack of consistency in sustainability measurements. These companies are struggling to find the right level of communication with consumers about their sustainability programs, Ryan Partnership said in a whitepaper.
Global consumers have clear and specific expectations for the role companies should play in addressing social and environmental issues with 93 percent wanting to see more of the products and services they use support corporate social responsibility...
Today is Earth Day, an event that began as a “teach-in” in 1970 and now is purportedly celebrated by upwards of one billion people in 192 countries around the globe and is the occasion for all sorts of enterprising media packages telling us everything from how sports stadiums like Philly’s Franklin Field are learning to “hold the carbon-emitting negativity” to Canon Marketing in Taiwan inviting employees and others to a tree-planting event to what cheap compost binsto buy for our own patches of suburbia.
Face aux accusations de greenwashing, les entreprises n'osent plus communiquer sur leurs engagements sociaux ou environnementaux. Pourtant, communiquer de manière appropriée serait source de différenciation et de valorisation.
Continuing a positive trend of transparency in the food industry, Starbucks' latest campaign focuses on the quality and sourcing of its coffee beans, as sustainability and health concerns continue to motivate consumers to ask, "Where does this come from?"
Launched on Sunday during the Emmys, the new documentary-inspired TV ad shows the heritage of the cafe chain's Arabica coffee beans. "The bean matters, because you cannot roast in quality, you cannot roast in complexity," the voiceover says as black-and-white footage of coffee plantations and the roasting process runs.
The longer-form videos, dubbed “origin stories,” will run on the Starbucks website in October for four of its 20-plus coffee brands, including Veranda Blend, Pike Place Roast, French Roast and Ethiopia. The campaign will also include print ads that will run in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and the New Yorker, among others, while the TV spot will also be show in a handful of "higher-end" movie theaters.
Climate change. Resource scarcity. Pollution. Human rights. These are some of the most pressing issues facing business today. They are also some of the most difficult for consumers to relate to, let alone orient their lives around.
According to a recent report from The World Economic Forum and Accenture, sustainability is in desperate need of a makeover.
Brands are the symbols and icons of our culture. Embedding sustainability into the private sector by using culture can make the world healthier, safer, more tolerant and creative. Brands can be transactional gateways permeating our everyday lives.
Welcome back! Are you ready to leave excellence behind, with all its unsustainable feeders and costs? Ready to make the move to the entirely different and sustainable condition of mastery? You’ve been patient for long enough, so let’s get started.
In Part I of this series we introduced the Excellence Trap, and diagnosed its drivers and shortcomings. Here in Part II, we’ll take a close look at the costs we incur when we’re in the Excellence Trap, in order to see clearly what unsustainable people and organizations suffer. Then we’ll turn to the solution, introduce mastery and five shifts we must make to become sustainable. And in Part III we’ll discuss the way to get there, as well as the way not to.
These days, many conversations about the status of sustainability in business and society seem to fall into two categories. These can be summarized as 1. It’s mainstreaming, and 2. It’s not mainstreaming, or it’s not mainstreaming enough, or as quickly or as deeply as we would like.
Brands have the potential to disrupt the status quo and promote behavior change. They certainly have a history of doing so. One of my favorite examples is the way that shampoo brands have changed the way we care for our hair over the past 100 years.
This is the first in a three-part series by Fruitful Strategy's Jennifer Rice, in which she explores sustainable, world-changing brands.
While many of us live out our sheltered lives, the rest of our country and world remain trapped in destructive cycles: poverty, climate change, poor health, declining education, habitat destruction, toxic waste … The list goes on. Companies play a huge role in both the problems and the solutions; they’ve been making progress in CSR and sustainability, but it’s been largely through behind-the-scenes efforts to mitigate risk or reduce costs. Social issues are most frequently addressed through philanthropy that’s disconnected from the core business. The big opportunity is to align CSR and sustainability with competitive advantage — i.e., creating shared value. And now we’re talking front-of-the-house activities such as products, services and new business models. In other words, we’re talking about brands.
For the past five years we’ve been helping companies large and small solve their sustainability challenges by facilitating peer-to-peer conversations via our online platform. Today, we’re the world’s largest community for sustainable business professionals, with more than 30,000 members.
When it comes to building brands and driving change, effective communication is a prerequisite. Unsurprisingly then, communications are often the first port of call when it comes to the unique challenges and opportunities that sustainability represents for today’s brands.
However, emerging cultural, economic and technological trends related to sustainability are forcing brands to think differently about the role of communications in their wider brand ecosystem. As is so often the case, when the game is changing this quickly, a more effective solution requires a redefinition of the problem.
In the future, those brands that take the lead, engage the consumers and drive the growth will be those that understand sustainability as a design challenge, rather than a communications problem.
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