Green Consumer

A Clear Mission Can Be Incredibly Powerful: Lessons from Ben & Jerry’s and Seventh Generation

ben-jerry-food-fight

Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Jerry Greenfield and Vermont governor Peter Shumlin unveil the Food Fight Fudge Brownie flavor in June, developed to support the state’s legal defense over its law to require labeling of bioengineered ingredients. | Image credit: Food Business News

All businesses value consumer and employee loyalty and the opportunity to shape the playing field in which they operate. Mission-driven businesses such as B Corps Seventh Generation and Ben & Jerry’s are finding that having an authentic purpose that resonates with their customers opens the door to exciting approaches to activism that engage their base in powerful ways. The union of company and employee passions not only boosts loyalty but also can lead to successful advocacy for shared causes. Conventional companies seeking to emulate their successes should follow three key steps:

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Also posted in B Corp, Business and Sustainability, Culture and Leadership, Green Communications, Green Marketing, Leadership & Culture, Organizational Change, Organizational Culture, Sustainable Food, Sustainable Supply Chain, The Hub | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Carbon Neutral Wines – it’s more than just Green Marketing

Santa Margherita Pinot GrigioWhen you see a product that says carbon neutral, what does it mean?

I recently enjoyed a bottle of Italy’s number one selling wine in Canada, Santa Margherita’s Pinot Grigio. Each bottle has a green label that says “Carbon neutral from ground to store. Measured and offset with Carbonzero”. It is produced in Italy, imported into Canada by Lifford Wine, and certified by Carbonzero as carbon neutral. I investigate its Italian supply chain and production, shipping to Canada, and sales and consumption in Canada to learn what it means to be carbon neutral.

Carbon neutrality, or having a net zero carbon footprint, refers to balancing carbon released with an equivalent amount of offset. Claiming carbon neutrality generally involves three steps: measure, reduce, offset.

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Also posted in Case Study, Featured Articles, Green Marketing, Marketing and Communications, Sustainable Food, Sustainable Supply Chain, The Hub | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Have companies forgotten how to create genuine wellbeing? Do old marketing tactics miss the mark?

Genuine-stamp-GreenEarlier this month at the Sustainable Brands conference in San Diego, gDiapers CEO, Jason Graham-Nye said: “I think sustainability is like fight club. The first rule of fight club is don’t talk about fight club. The first rule of sustainability is the word is so dead.”

And he’s not alone. In one of the conference events, Raphael Bemporad – co-founder and chief strategy officer at BBMG and Tensie Whelan, president of Rainforest Alliance – presented a new report entitled The New Sustainability Narrative, which tries to address the following problem:

Sustainability doesn’t mean anything real to consumers. Too often, it brings to mind technical issues or seemingly insurmountable environmental challenges.

“Sustainability doesn’t mean anything real to consumers. Too often, it brings to mind technical issues or seemingly insurmountable environmental challenges.”

I guess this problem statement shouldn’t be surprising news to anyone involved in or following the many efforts to engage consumers in sustainability.  The issue it raises has long become the Achilles’ heel of the sustainability movement, making companies wonder what on earth can be done to get consumers on board.

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Also posted in Business and Sustainability, Communication, Marketing and Communications, sustainability trends, The Hub | Tagged , , , , , | Comments closed

Is there truth to the message that we can shop our way to a better world or are we simply trying to ease the pain?

Editors Note: The great biologist E.O Wilson wrote about the “biophilia hypthesis”.  Human beings feel a deep connection with nature that is rooted in our biology.  Living in cities disconnects us with nature and and leaves us feeling unsettled.  On a subconscious level we feel that something is missing and  we seek that connection for the rest of our lives.  For many the chance to shop distracts us and eases the pain but it doesn’t work for long – we need the good stuff!

For all the talk about how important brands are in people's lives, the evidence points firmly in the other direction. Photograph: Ye Aung Thu/AFP/Getty

For all the talk about how important brands are in people’s lives, the evidence points firmly in the other direction.

New research by Havas Media Group, which surveyed 134,000 people around the world, shows that consumers would not care less if 73% of brands were wiped off the face of the earth and that only a fifth of brands notably improve people’s quality of life.

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Also posted in Behaviour Change, Business and Sustainability, Green Marketing, Greening of Retail | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Whose responsibility is it to ensure safe working conditions? The company, the consumer or perhaps – BOTH.

Let’s say you have two options to choose from: A T-shirt that has been made using questionable labor practices for $9.90 or a T-shirt of the same quality that has been made ethically for $10.00. What would you choose?  (EDITORS NOTE – see below.   Is this a problem which money alone can solve?  Can the consumer really be left to carry this burden alone?)

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Also posted in Behaviour Change, Business and Sustainability, Ethics, Human Rights, raz godelnik, Sustainable Supply Chain, Workers Rights | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed
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