Listen Up: How One Brand Learned That Greenwashing Is Never an ‘Ethical Choice’

 

 
 
SB Communications Weekly brought to you by Sustainable Brands
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Behaviour change starts with listening. In recent weeks, a major global brand may have started listening for the first time: Dole have both made a U-turn and reached out to critics in an apparent desire to understand where they went wrong in this market and how they might set things right. Meanwhile, the deadline Dole gave themselves to remove those “Ethical Choice” stickers is fast approaching.
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When it comes to sustainable brands, we can play the big game or the small game. What I call “Branding of Sustainability” is the small game. It simply means applying old-school brand action, such as advertising and other marketing communications, even leading-edge techniques, to brands that are already sustainable. But “Branding for Sustainability” is the big game.
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Year after year, Marks & Spencer sets a high standard for environmental sustainability in the UK retail world. As a part of its Plan A initiative, M&S makes a varied range of responsibility efforts, from beach-cleaning and cancer fundraising to recycling programs and organic produce. Here we look at the year’s most important changes and surprises, as revealed in the company’s recently released 2013 Plan A Report.
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Consumer behaviour change is the challenge of our time. An effective response will require increased capacity and capability across the sector: more skills, different skills and more people with those skills. If we are to achieve this, we need cross-sector collaboration with strong, independent leadership.
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In the early 2000s, revered British clothing brand Burberry was experiencing some hiccups. For decades, the Burberry name had been synonymous with English culture, but thanks to a few missteps, it wasn’t long before Burberry was more closely associated with England’s gangster culture than with tea and crumpets.
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