Thursday, December 4, 2008

Consumer Goods Companies Face Major Earning Hit Without Smart Environmental Sourcing

CHICAGO and WASHINGTON, DC, December 1, 2008 — Companies in certain consumer goods sectors that do not implement sustainable environmental strategies could face a potential reduction of 13 percent to 31 percent in earnings by 2013 and 19 percent to 47 percent in earnings in 2018.

These findings are the result of a "future scenario" analysis released today by the World Resources Institute and A.T. Kearney, Inc. It is titled Rattling Supply Chains: The Effect of Environmental Trends on Input Costs to the Fast Moving Consumer Goods Industry, and is the first report of its kind to calculate the financial impact of environmental issues facing this industry.

The analysis provides consumer packaged goods executives with a tool to assess how environmental legislation and climate change could impact their businesses in future years. It also outlines how these executives can begin to develop strategies to address these issues.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Study Looks At Effectiveness of Green Communications

mc² recently released a white paper (PDF) on how effectively S&P 100 companies are communicating their sustainability efforts, CSRwire reports.

The white paper identified three performance groups in terms of how industries are currently communicating about sustainability.

Leading Players: The automotive, forestry, chemicals and pharmaceuticals industries are currently setting the standard for sustainability communication.

Emerging Players: The mining/energy, transportation/shipping, technology, communications and consumer product/retail industries are making progress, yet still have significant opportunity to improve.

Lagging Players: The financial services and media/entertainment are lagging players. Their sustainability communications have the most opportunity for growth.

The study suggests that a starting place for companies to improve communications is through their existing Web sites. By employing interactive tools such as RSS feeds, videos and e-newsletters to report progress updates, starting a company blog and/or building an online community to initiate stakeholder dialogue, a company can begin to engage with their stakeholders in a more meaningful way.


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Report: Sustainability Begins in the Purchasing Department

Sept. 29, 2008 - Procurement professionals are fast becoming a "critical, core element" of corporate sustainability efforts, a new survey finds.

While many companies are focusing their main efficiency efforts around green IT, the use of automated procurement solutions is "quietly emerging as the leading edge of many organizations' efforts to go green," according to the survey by KPMG, Inc.

The survey of 600 senior-level procurement professionals finds that 42% of respondents regularly evaluate suppliers on environmental and human rights performance. Another 33% have begun, or are currently launching, a green supply chain program.


Monday, September 22, 2008

Fortune 50 Lacks Transparency in Web-Based Environmental Reporting

By GreenBiz Staff
Published September 15, 2008
OAKLAND, Calif. -- The majority of Fortune 50 corporations use the Internet to disclose some information on their environmental performance but most are missing opportunities to involve stakeholders, tap the interactive potential of the web, and provide transparency in their reporting, new research suggests.

Researchers at Brigham Young University and KDPaine and Partners set out to test a new model for transparency, a hot topic in the field of corporate communications. After studying environmental information reported in the websites of F50 copanies, researchers found that a minority allow for any two-way interaction with stakeholders, which could inform and enhance the type of information they report.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Branding for Sustainability: Five Principles for Leveraging Brands to Create Shared Value

By Raphael Bemporad and Mitch Baranowski

(CSRwire) Like never before, sustainability is transforming business practice and performance. Whether for efficiency, risk mitigation, government regulation, conservation or competitive advantage among increasingly values-driven consumers, sustainability is seeing its moment.

As more of the world's most powerful brands aspire to the same social and environmental values, business leaders and marketers face the new challenge of distinguishing their companies, products and services in an increasingly crowded sustainable marketplace.

So how is sustainability changing the rules of branding? How can branding advance sustainable practice and performance? And most important, how can socially responsible businesses build authentic brands for a more sustainable future?

We believe that sustainability requires a re-imagination of the art of branding - just as branding requires a re-imagination of the science of sustainability. The old branding paradigm stamped a commodity with a logo and a slogan, but we are champions for a new paradigm that delivers practical, social and tribal benefits and offers consumers authentic, meaningful and empowering experiences.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Paper from Wheat, not Wood

WorldChanging Team
August 28, 2008 9:14 PM

By WorldChanging Canada writer Rod Edwards.

There's an interesting development lurking in your magazine rack (provided you subscribe to Canadian Geographic): paper made from wheat straw—the stem & stalk waste product of grain farming. Indistinguishable from regular wood-pulp paper, printed products made of a percentage of wheat straw are notable not for their tactile qualities, but for their sustainability implications. As agricultural waste, wheat straw is perennially renewable so long as people farm. As a product, monetizeable wheat straw provides a diversified income stream for farmers. As a source of paper fibre, it takes pressure off the forests that traditionally supply pulp, and the species that inhabit them. Rick Boychuk, Senior Editor at Canadian Geographic notes that the "June issue uses sixty percent trees but looks and feels just like any other issue of Canadian Geographic."

Ottawa printer Dollco summarizes the potential impact of wheat straw in paper pulp:

The majority of Canada's paper is currently made from Boreal forests and Temperate rainforests. Straw from Canada's wheat harvest could produce 8 millions of tonnes of pulp—equivalent to the paper volume used by the North American newspaper industry every year. That could result in a saving of 100 million trees each year—without impacting food production or increasing energy inputs, while providing a new source of income for grain growers.

That's a powerful concept—completely re-inventing the North American pulp & paper industry to run on agricultural waste instead of cutting down forests.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

News and Websites Most Successful for CSR Communications

September 2, 2008

Successful CSR communication is about the right message, the right amount of information delivered through the right vehicle, according to the Natural Marketing Institute. Most consumers prefer to learn about CSR through news media, a favoring likely due to the media’s third party reference point.

Interestingly, company websites and product packaging also play very important roles for consumers. Since both of these vehicles are “organization controlled” they are a vital part of any CSR strategy. Incorporating some mention of CSR in product packaging - packaging being highly influential at the point of purchase - can also be a very effective tool in affecting consumer behavior. Packaging also can be used to drive consumers to a web site, where they can find additional detailed CSR information. The web content should be designed to provide consumers as much (or as little) information as they want, and also link to other outside resources. This method of self discovery can provide consumers with a vehicle for their CSR reports, thereby providing both transparency and substantiation of environmental and social efforts.