Greening of Retail

Brand’s CSR Opportunity: Adopting a Retail Perspective

Sometimes the best opportunities arise when you adopt a new perspective.

mapWhen you think about the different ways that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) transpires throughout daily life, examples seen at retail will often come to mind. Such examples include the sale of green products, responsible ingredients and manufacturing claims (i.e. Fair Trade), or re-usable bags for purchase. More often than not, there is also some form of fund-raising effort present at retail to support a cause or charity. In recent years, these examples have become so ubiquitous in presence and predictable in their communication approach. So much so, that sadly they have become relatively ineffective at inspiring broader public support for the very CSR principles and causes they strive to represent. Such passive forms of corporate support for social and environmental issues are often just more information and promotional advertising. What is often missing is the added effort to actually communicate and connect with people in ways that provide an enriching experience and inspire further interest. This is where the adoption of a retail perspective and way of thinking can help.

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5 CSR Trends on the Radar for 2014

2014With the New Year almost upon us, companies may be making some resolutions to ensure their CSR and sustainability efforts start off on the right foot in 2014. To give companies a leg up on their planning, we’ve highlighted five CSR trends that are likely to pop up on corporate radar screens and gain more traction in 2014.

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Also posted in Business and Sustainability, Business for Good, Climate change, Employee Engagement, Innovation, Sustainable Supply Chain, Uncategorized | 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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Retail with Purpose: How retail brands can humanize sustainability

Sustainability at retail can be perceived as being illogical if not contradictory. Because according to logic, if the purpose of retail is about promoting only purchase and thereby consumption, then it runs counter to sustainability principles such as reduce, recycle and re-use. But retail in its broadest sense is not just about stores. It also refers to having a physical, local or direct to community business presence (i.e. a bank or post-office would qualify as retail). But in order to bring the concept of “sustainability” out beyond the niche and to the masses, we will need to transcend logic and find more ways to get people to care about life tomorrow – today.

“Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.” ― Albert Einstein

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Apple still lags in defining a social purpose

Recently, it was announced that Apple’s stock market value had neared $625 billion, making it the most valuable company ever. The headlines made me re-consider an article I wrote for Forbes last August called Where is Apple’s Social Purpose?

Declaring that Apple didn’t have a social purpose wasn’t very popular and the post generated some harsh comments. “Write an irritating piece you know nothing about and stick an ‘Apple’ in it for clicks,” commented one Forbes reader. “Try Google or ‘Samsung’ or ‘Ford’ and see what happens.” Read More »

Also posted in Business for Good, Green Communications, Innovation, Organizational Culture, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Comments closed
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