24
August

Carbon Trust, Credit360 Collaborate on Scope 3 Carbon Management Software

The Carbon Trust and Credit360 have joined together to create a series of software solutions designed to allow companies to manage carbon emissions across the value chain.

Typically carbon footprinting only includes direct and indirect operational emissions, known as Scope 1 and 2 emissions under the Kyoto Greenhouse Gas Protocol. Value chain footprinting also includes Scope 3 emissions, which represent the full lifecycle, from both suppliers and consumers, including all use and end of life emissions.

The first product developed and available now through the collaboration is the Value Chain Hotspotter, which has been designed to enable companies to estimate carbon-intensive areas of their value chain. The tool covers seven Scope 3 categories.

There is clear evidence that having a robust carbon-management strategy across a corporate value chain can deliver significant rewards, Credit360 said in a release. These include improved brand equity, cost reduction, revenue enhancement and risk mitigation.

In many cases a true value chain footprint involves integration of information from suppliers, which needs to happen securely. Processing and modeling this level of data can be a drain on productivity and prove costly and resource intensive. The new software helps to automate the process and provides interfaces for gathering supplier data securely.

The release of the full Value Chain Reporting software platform is planned for autumn 2012. Credit360 says it will go beyond measurement and provide in-built capability to calculate, interpret and make recommendations on carbon reduction activities.

“Many companies are already stretching the capabilities of Excel to the limit and businesses need to have a reliable intuitive solution that can deliver the right level of business insight without the need for data management specialists,” John Whybrow, General Manager of the Carbon Trust Footprinting Company said.

Article published for Sustainable Life Media, August 6, 2012 by Bart King is a PR/marketing communications consultant and principal at Cleantech Communications.

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12
December

Heineken encouraging people to drink less beer?

Heineken has launched a campaign which is designed to make people drink less beer – or as the company puts it to encourage the responsible consumption of its brands.

The new theme, titled ‘Sunrise belongs to moderate drinkers’ continues to use Heineken® to deliver this message.

This initiative encourages aspirational behaviour among adult consumers. Heineken says that it has chosen to launch this programme in the festive season to maximise the impact of the message.

Alexis Nasard, Chief Commercial Officer, said: “Heinken has both the opportunity and the responsibility to encourage moderate drinking. This approach breaks from the norm of traditional responsible consumption messages and takes a progressive stance by showing that drinking responsibly can be aspirational. ‘Sunrise belongs to moderate drinkers’ is a natural next step in our long term commitment to encouraging responsible consumption.”

‘Sunrise belongs to moderate drinkers’, will be executed through the use of various online and offline media channels, with strong emphasis on social media. In the 85 second film ‘The Sunrise’, Heineken®’s legendary hero demonstrates how to celebrate the night to the fullest, including turning down a beer and choosing a bottle of water instead.

Cyril Charzat,Senior Director, Global Heineken Brand, added: “In the film, our ‘man of the world’ brings to life the powerful idea that there are no limits, when you know your limits. We want to show that enjoying Heineken® in moderation can be an integral part of connecting and engaging with friends, meeting new people and exploring new experiences.”

‘Sunrise belongs to moderate drinkers’, will be executed through the use of various online and offline media channels, with strong emphasis on social media. In the 85 second film ‘The Sunrise’, Heineken®’s legendary hero demonstrates how to celebrate the night to the fullest, including turning down a beer and choosing a bottle of water instead.

Cyril Charzat,Senior Director, Global Heineken Brand, added: “In the film, our ‘man of the world’ brings to life the powerful idea that there are no limits, when you know your limits. We want to show that enjoying Heineken® in moderation can be an integral part of connecting and engaging with friends, meeting new people and exploring new experiences.”

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5
December

Adidas Employee-Run Blog Engages Key Stakeholders on Sustainability Initiatives

 

When you think about it, with all the progress that had been made with stakeholder engagement, we still know very little about the people behind the corporations. With few rare exceptions, such as Timberland, the best we get is usually a twitter account run by the CEO and maybe a blog managed by the company’s chief sustainability officer. Other than that the face of the corporation stays quite anonymous to most stakeholders. This is why I was happy to learn about the corporate blog of adidasthat is run by its employees. We finally get some names and faces to refer to instead of just a corporate logo.

The new blog is led by Jan Runau, the adidas Group’s Chief Corporate Communication Officer. The idea behind the blog, he explains, is to provide stakeholders with authentic insights and additional background about adidas. Runau adds that “we want to conduct a genuine dialogue with everyone who is interested in what we are doing and want to explain how and why we are doing it.”

The people who conduct this dialogue on behalf of adidas are Verena, Simone, Steve, Moritz and other employees that work in various departments in the adidas group. Altogether I counted a total of 21 employees that write on the blog. What they write about? Various issues related to the company, the sportswear industry in general, and sports. For example, in November you could find an update on their celebration of the 4th National Tracksuit Day (if you didn’t come to work on Nov 4th with your tracksuit on, you’ll have to wait for next year’s celebration), a report on the purchase of outdoor specialist Five Ten by adidas and tips for corporate bloggers inspired by athletes (work on your flexibility just like Lionel Messi).

The blog, which is still rather new, faces couple of interesting challenges that will determine its ability to meet Ruanu’s goals:

Becoming an interactive platform – right now the blog is more of a monologue and less of a dialogue, with very few comments from readers. It is nothing like Adidas Facebook page for example, which is much more interactive. It takes time to build a successful engagement platform, but without more participation of stakeholders, I doubt if the blog will be able to meet its goal of conducting a genuine dialogue. Maybe opening the blog to posts written by customers, NGOs, community leaders and other stakeholders could help create a live dialogue.

Opening its gates for more employees – the blog is populated at the moment with corporate employees. You won’t find there employees that work in adidas stores, which is something I hope to see changed in the future. Store employees can provide a very interesting perspective not just about adidas, but also about its customers. Do customers, for example, actually care about adidas’ efforts to reach zero discharge following Greenpeace Detox campaign? Right now you can’t really tell, and I think it would be interesting for adidas as well as for other stakeholders to get such reports from the company’s stores.

Exercising some flexibility – this blog is not an objective media outlet, so don’t expect to find there any criticism on adidas. As Frank Thomas, who is a member of the Corporate PR team and one of this blog’s moderators wrote: “This is a corporate blog which has to contribute to our company’s success just like everything else we do.” This is fine with me – you can’t and shouldn’t expect employees to bite the hand that feeds them. Nevertheless, if this blog will allow an open discussion on issues that might not present adidas in a positive way, it will gain a lot of credibility and respect from stakeholders.

Identifying the material issues – If adidas really wants this blog to become an effective tool to engage with stakeholders, it needs to learn what issues stakeholders find important and address them. This blog doesn’t have to be only about these issues, and it can definitely keep reporting on sports and add fun posts, but it should also make sure that in general it talks about the issues stakeholders care about, and not just the issues adidas care about (if the two are identical, then there’s no problem, but this is not always the case).

With all these challenges, this blog is still a refreshing effort to create a more personalized dialogue between a corporation and its stakeholders. Let’s hope other companies will follow suit and let us get a closer look on what they do and how they do it through their employees. Eventually companies might be surprised to find out such a blog is an easy and effective way to give stakeholders what Runau calls “a personal and holistic picture of the company behind the brands.”

Raz Godelnik is the co-founder of Eco-Libris, a green company working to green up the book industry in the digital age. He is also an adjunct professor in the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics. Article as posted by Sustainable Life Media.

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2
December

Nike & Puma, Reframing the Sustainability Message for a Younger Market

2011 has been a big year for the cause of sustainability in sports and athletics.  In March, we saw the launch of the Green Sports Alliance, a nonprofit organization founded by a collection of Pacific Northwest pro-sport teams and facilities in partnership with the NRDC.  Since then, the coalition for furthering sustainable practices throughout the sports industry has grown to nearly 70 members and partners spanning all major North American pro leagues.  We have also seen a race between Nike and Puma for breakaway leadership in sustainability of sports apparel.

In January of this year, Nike launched its cutting-edge website dedicated to its sustainability brand, NikeBetterWorld.com.  Although the sustainable content is noteworthy, Nike received more attention for the innovative HTML5 scroll down design.  In May, Puma released its first Environmental Profit and Loss statement, valuing its GHG impacts at $194 Million USD, the first such triple bottom line documentation in its class.

This November, both Nike and Puma have been making headlines.  Nike released its Material Sustainability Index (MSI) via Earthster, sharing its framework developed from years of sustainability research, design and collaboration. The index is only available to the Sustainable Apparel Coalition but Nike plans to release it to the public in 2012.  Puma just announced its current research and development of compostable clothing and footware.

In case anyone forgot who really is king of the sustainable athletic market, this fall Patagonia threw in its curve ball campaign announcing its partnership with eBay to encourage customers to “Buy Less.” The partnership endorses and encourages a secondhand market for Patagonia’s products.

In many ways there are similarities between the sustainability branding campaigns and initiatives of Nike and Puma.  Both companies are adopting the cradle-to-cradle framework to their systems and designing processes.  Both companies committed to the challenge presented by Greenpeace to eliminate any discharge of hazardous chemicals by 2020, forming the Joint Roadmap Towards Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals along with competitor Adidas.

When it came to creating the brand of sustainability at each organization, both Nike and Puma adopted a strategy of creating a movement around reframing the word “sustainability.” Although both movements targeted demographically similar markets, the respective target customers have diverging sensibilities.

Nike reframed its sustainability message so their young customers can relate and be motivated to action.  Nike’s simple and clear “Better World” calls it like it is, much like its predecessor, “Just Do It.” Beginning with the highly acclaimed recycled advertisement, the website tells the story of how sports and Nike have been the vehicles of making the world a better place.  The message is consistent with the tone to which Nike’s consumer tribe has become accustomed and expect.

Puma also strives for simplicity, branding its sustainability as PumaVision.  In other words, a better world as Puma sees it: Fair, Honest, Positive and Creative. It is broken down into sub-sections of PumaSafe (safeguarding the environment), PumaPeace (promoting social justice) and PumaCreative (leveraging the arts for positive change).  Arguably, Puma has taken a more traditional or conservative approach to communicating its sustainability brand.  However, Puma clearly understands its market who seek information is a more traditional format.

Nike and Puma further diverge when implementing communication methods.  Through these channels, each of their core cultures becomes more evident.  CEO and Chairman Jochen Zeitz has been at the forefront of Puma’s sustainability messaging, presenting himself as Puma’s sustainability brand ambassador. Based on the PR, it is clear that Zeitz is the face and driver behind Puma’s sustainability brand and vision.  Zeitz recently participated in an online town-hall conversation with readers of the Guardian Sustainable Business blog.  Nike, on the other had, has taken a much more systemic approach, dispersing its leverage over a large team of department executives, advertising and social media, focusing much of its effort on innovation through collaboration.

Both Nike and Puma have catapulted the sports apparel industry into the media spotlight many times over this past year.  It will be interesting to see how the PR of 2011 develops into the actions of 2012.

Izabel Loinaz is the CEO of Spring Partners, Inc. and a GRI certified sustainable business consultant focusing on the sport, fitness and wellness industries.

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25
November

New Brand Partnerships by Coke/Pepsi Link Plastic Bottles With Sustainable Fabrics

 

Soft-drink companies Coke and Pepsi both have new brand partnerships focused on the recycling of plastic bottles into sustainable fabrics for clothing and apparel.

Last week, PepsiCo brand Mountain Dew announced a partnership with Burton Snowboards, and released a line of t-shirts made from 50% recycled plastic bottles and 50% organic cotton. Three different shirts in the line feature eco-themed graphic designs ranging from a drawing of Rube Goldberg-inspired machine that recycles bottles to a snowflake.

Burton and Mountain Dew say the t-shirts are just a taste of what is planned for sustainable fabrics (and the partnership) in Burton’s 2012-2013 product seasons. New outerwear is planned to hit store shelves in fall 2012.

Similarly, Coca-Cola has partnered its bottled-water brand Dasani with New Balance’s recently released newSKY sneakers, which have an upper made from 95% recycled PET plastic bottles.

Together the brands are working to encourage increased recycling, stressing the fact that eight recycled bottles are all that is needed to make the fabric for one new pair of shoes.

New Balance illustrates the process in the video below:

NewSky

Bart King is a PR consultant and principal of Cleantech Communications, and a regular contributor to Sustainable Life Media

 

 

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24
October

A Social Contract: The “We First” Solution to Brand – #occupywallstreet Collaboration

 

October 21, 2011—The #occupywallstreet movement cites a wide selection of grievances directed at a common target – corporate America. Unfair business practices and the resulting economic inequality have inspired thousands to take to the streets in hundreds of cities around the world. So how does corporate America respond? How do they at once acknowledge and answer these concerns while also discharging their responsibilities to shareholders and bottom lines? One simple answer is a reframing of the relations between those brands and their customers through a meaningful social contract.

Social contracts serve as an explicit articulation of the values-based agreement between brands and consumers to regulate the behavior of both parties as sustainable capitalism and shared prosperity is a mutual responsibility. With that in mind, here is the start of a Social Contract that can be customized by companies and crowdsourced among customers to reach an agreement that brands can use to start addressing the concerns of the #occuptwallstreet movement.

 


Sample Social Contract Between [insert Name of Your Brand] and Customers

We are seeking a new way of looking at the world we live in. We believe that a better future depends on the integration of profit and purpose. To that end, our company and its customers intend to become partners in social change to build a better world. This partnership is guided by this social contract between us. We agree that the following principles will direct our behavior and the relationship between us:

.    We believe companies have a right to innovation, entrepreneurship and profit-making while citizens and our consumers have a right to a healthy society and planet for living.

.    We recognize an interdependent, global community requires an expanded definition of self-interest that acknowledges the needs of all inhabitants of the planet.

.    We define success through prosperity, which means the well-being of many, not the wealth of a few.

.    We believe that future of profit is purpose. We will commit ourselves to working with our customers to create meaningful results that impact the world in positive ways.

.    We believe that the interests of companies and consumers are best served through the sustainable practice of capitalism — economically, morally, ethically, environmentally, and socially.

.    We believe that corporations and consumers owe each other an equal duty of transparent, authentic, and accountable communication.

.    We believe that social technology, business, and shopping have the potential to change our world through new modes of engagement, collaboration, and contribution.

.    We believe in the following values for our daily practice of capitalism: sustainability, fairness of rewards, fiscal responsibility, accountability, purposefulness, engagement, and global citizenship.

.    We believe that corporations and consumers are duty-bound to serve as custodians of global well-being for this and all future generations.

.    We believe that the private sector must cooperate, collaborate and coordinate with governments and NGOs to create a unified force for social good.


Simon Mainwaring is the founder of We First, a social branding consultancy that helps companies, non-profits and consumer groups build a better world through changes to the practice of capitalism, branding, and consumerism using social technology

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