Branding for Good - Issue 38

17 Jul 2014|Added Value

Countries divided by the cost of tackling climate change
The debate about climate change has heated up again in recent weeks with governments divided over long term environmental investments vs. short term economic gains.

In the US, the EPA is mandating 30% reductions to carbon pollution from power plants by 2030 while Obama has likened denying climate change to thinking the moon is made of cheese. According to the EPA, these rules will ‘fight climate change while supplying America with reliable and affordable power.’ States which are heavily reliant upon coal for employment and income beg to differ.

On the other side of the pond, the UK government has given the green light to develop one of the world’s largest off shore wind farms off the coast of East Anglia – set to bring more than £520 million of investment into the UK economy, and to generate £10 million per year. Internationally, China and the UK have released a joint statement recognizing climate change as ‘one of the greatest global challenges we face’ and have committed to working closely together in response to it.

A photograph of France’s foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, posing as a dapper weatherman to raise awareness of the upcoming COP21 climate conference went viral (although much of the buzz was ridicule).

Elsewhere, political leaders choose to focus policy on shorter term domestic economic growth at the expense of environmental impact. In Canada, Prime Minister Harper has just approved The Northern Gateway pipeline which aims to send bitumen to Asia and open Canada’s oil companies to the world markets. Recently, Australian PM Tony Abbott received domestic backlash on his proposal to scrap Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation. The government is still pushing to repeal the country’s carbon tax laws, and is looking for a reshuffle in the Senate to do so.

Brands that Tackle Food Waste can Woo consumers
There is a prime opportunity today for food brands to reduce waste and, following the examples of Ikea and EasyJet, make this an integral part of their brand story. Americans today are paying closer attention to food waste, long a European concern, and a welcome development given that we throw away between 30-40% of our edible food every year. Consequently, it is a great time for mainstream food brands to rethink policy, and develop messaging and activation strategies to drive both internal and consumer food-saving behaviors. Leslie Pascaud, Executive VP, takes a look at how brands that tackle food waste can woo consumers…

Purpose Brands on the Rise
Tesla believes in sharing
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has announced that his company is removing patent barriers currently protecting its intellectual property in an effort to advance the development of electric vehicle (EV) technology. The founder points to the fact that EV programs at the major manufacturers constitute an average of far less than 1% of their total vehicle sales while annual new vehicle production is approaching 100 million per year, and there are around 2 billion carbon-spewing cars on the world’s roads. Find out more here…

Social good brands resonate around the world
A new Nielsen study shows that 55% of consumers worldwide say they are prepared to pay more for socially responsible brands. The percentage climbs over 60% in Asia Pacific, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.
Nielsen also reviewed retail sales data for a cross-section of both consumable and non-consumable categories across 20 brands in nine countries. The results showed an average annual sales increase of 2% for products with sustainability claims on the packaging and a lift of 5% for products that promoted sustainability actions through marketing programs vs a rise of only 1% for brands without sustainability claims or marketing. Find out more here…

Target gets proactive on better for you brands
Target is rolling out their Made to Matter initiative to better target customers interested in buying more healthy, natural and ethical brands. The Made to Matter collection brings together 16 leading natural, organic and sustainable brands including Method, Annie’s Homegrown, Burt’s Bees, Clif Bar & Co., Seventh Generation, Horizon and Kashi. Participating brands introduce exclusive items for six months. Find out more here…

Adidas takes their commitment to no-sweat shops a step further
In April of this year, 43000 employees at a Taiwanese shoe manufacturer Yue Yuen in Dongguan, China, went out on a 10 day strike when an employee noticed that the company had been underpaying its social security contributions. Rather than cut off this troubled supplier, Adidas took a more proactive route –campaigning for the release of workers’ representatives arrested by Chinese authorities during the protest and encouraging their local partner to engage in dialogue to address the concerns expressed by the workers. Find out more here…

McDonald’s commits to sustainable food
McDonald’s Canada announced that 100% of the fish it serves in its Filet-O-Fish is now certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). The company has purchased fish from MSC certified fisheries for nearly a decade but hit the 100% mark in the US in February and has now fulfilled its commitment to maintaining the health of the world’s oceans for its entire North American business. Find out more here…

Eco Innovations
A smart garden system that monitors and tracks soil quality, an app which connects consumers with unsold restaurant and grocery food store, jeans you can rent for a year and return them, coffee grounds converted to feed dairy cows in Japan and making money out of your cell phone components. Click here to read more…

Contact us
We’ll be back in the Fall with more sustainable marketing points of view. And if you’d like to get in touch with us, please email

Image credits: Made to Matter by Target.

prev next