Branding for Good News issue 24

14 Jun 2010|Added Value

Welcome to Issue 24 of Branding for Good News, Added Value’s newsletter focused exclusively on sustainable marketing; the challenges, opportunities, our solutions and points of view.

It’s hard to believe, as we look out on a dreary, colder than normal day in London, but statistically April was the hottest on record globally. India and South Asia is in the midst of a heatwave that is the hottest since modern records began two hundred years ago. The recession may be coming to an end, but global warming continues. Tackling climate change appears to be high on the agenda for the UK’s new coalition government as they pledge to cut UK carbon emissions by 10% over the next year. Despite resistance towards legally binding limits to carbon emission, the Chinese government look set to launch a carbon trading market as soon as 2014. And whilst the American government still debates their Climate Bill, the State of California passed a law banning plastic bags, becoming the third US state to do so.

It’s official; strong sustainable brand leadership pays dividends. Plan A, Marks & Spencer’s commitment to operating more sustainably, has returned more than £50m profit back into the business last year. Other brands building value through a sustainable lens: tech giant Nokia displays transparency with Ecoprofiles; Coke’s plantbottle receives packaging innovation accolades; Levis use open-source collaboration with their Care to Air campaign; London’s Hard rock Café embraces Meat-free Mondays and consumer goods giant PepsiCo, takes recycling to the next level.  US consumers can redeem points when they recycle at Dream Machine stations and in the UK, four PepsiCo factories are extracting water from their potatoes to reduce the dependence on mains supplied water.

We’ve been following, what some suggest, is the first truly global case of social media changing the business landscape. Back in March, Nestle felt the full force of Greenpeace’s social media campaign over their alleged use of palm oil from deforested areas. In just 4 days, the campaign became global and a PR nightmare. Nestle has followed in the footsteps of Unilever and other multinationals in making a commitment to sourcing their palm oil sustainably. And this example shows how a brand’s responsibility has moved from wholly owned factories, which are relatively easy to monitor, to complex global supply chains. While in our opinion, Nestle’s comment on their Facebook page are in no way scandalous, the success of Greenpeace’s campaign was due to an initial unwillingness on the part of the brand to accept this broader definition of their responsibility.  Greenpeace now have their sights firmly on HSBC and BP. It’s anyone’s guess how the latter brand will fare following the world’s biggest environmental catastrophe off the Gulf of Mexico.

World Cup Fever

The world’s eyes are on South Africa as the biggest sporting event in the known universe kicks off at the tip of the continent.  The 2010 FIFA World Cup is expected to generate eight times more CO2 emissions than the 2006 World Cup held in Germany but a multitude of environmental projects have been put in place to limit the environmental impact of the games. Such as rapid transit system of buses in some cities, improving the infrastructure for pedestrian walkways and bicycle circulation, installation of solar panels and efficient lights on the streets, stoplights and billboards, as well as actions to raise public awareness.

We believe now is the time of opportunity for brands to engage with African consumers and invest in the continents developing markets in more sustainable ways. Alison Tucker and Andrea Ellens, from Added Value South Africa, offer some key insights for brands looking to build market share there.  

And Mike Schalit, Chief Creative Officer, Net#work BBDO South Africa, offers his observations on how brands can work with their creative agencies by adopting ‘creativity for good’;  harnessing the power of ideas to do good – but in a commercially viable way. Giving brands a heart and an edge. 

Eco Innovations

Plastic chairs, laundry, alternative power and a shoe bag.  We bring you our pick of sustainable innovations making an impact on our everyday lives. Take a look

For more Branding for Good inspiration visit  our sister blog Cheskin Added Value or drop us a line at

prev next