unadulterated contains our unvarnished views on sustainability. Use these insights and musings to inspire and accelerate your journey.
It can be daunting to ramp up a sustainability program. This is especially the case when moving from an operations focus, where most programs start, to successfully leveraging the many opportunities associated with product materials and sourcing, design, and production. Yet companies that take aim at their products and measure, improve, and communicate the environmental and social attributes across the life cycle are able to achieve significant improvements that dwarf those they could realize otherwise.
With many companies in the goal-planning stage as they retire 2015 targets and set new ones, it is an appropriate time to evaluate our troubled relationship with carbon goals. Despite strong agreement within the scientific community that we need to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (PDF), I’m not seeing goals that are bold enough to get us where we need to go.
This article was co-authored with Mark Rossi and Sally Edwards
2014 was a year of stunning statistics and some moments of brilliance from a few brands. Unfortunately, most of the numbers were of the gloom and doom variety: warmest year, worst drought, worsening economic inequality — not to mention Ebola, war, and a looming sixth Great Extinction. Was the business community’s response proportionate to the scale of the problems that were revealed? What actions stand out? I have five, admittedly subjective, awards to give out.
A whopping 97 percent of environmental impacts in the retail sector come from the product itself — from raw materials, transportation and product manufacturing. With impacts so heavily weighted in the supply chain, retailers are increasingly and creatively wading upstream to partner with their suppliers on their greatest impacts. The key to success lies in selecting the appropriate supplier engagement method and then using that approach as a vehicle to deeper collaboration. But can successful retailer approaches truly motivate meaningful supply chain improvements?
A shocking dichotomy exists in our food system. The more than 70 percent of the global population that is food insecure are the very people we rely on to produce about 70 percent (PDF) of the world's food supply. They are typically small farmers living in rural areas across the globe.
All businesses value consumer and employee loyalty and the opportunity to shape the playing field in which they operate. Mission-driven businesses such as B Corps Seventh Generation and Ben & Jerry’s are finding that having an authentic purpose that resonates with their customers opens the door to exciting approaches to activism that engage their base in powerful ways. The union of company and employee passions not only boosts loyalty but also can lead to successful advocacy for shared causes. Conventional companies seeking to emulate their successes should follow three key steps: (Read More Here)
Food and beverage companies are beginning to realize the importance of sustainability, with a growing number of companies working to advance environmental and social improvement in product ingredients, manufacturing, and packaging through to end-of-life. However, the sector as a whole is lagging behind other industries in taking sustainability action and generating the associated business benefits. What steps can these companies take to join the leaders?
Walmart is the top retailer driving companies to invest in product sustainability, followed by Target, Costco and Nordstrom, according to research released by Pure Strategies in the report, The Path to Product Sustainability. The research, completed in February 2014 with 100 global consumer product companies such as The Coca Cola Company, Henkel and Timberland, finds that retailers, along with corporate strategy and CEO vision, are the primary reasons firms are incorporating product efforts in their sustainability programs.
Successful companies rapidly are bringing sustainability into product development. The Pure Strategies report "The Path to Product Sustainability" uncovers this emerging trend. Research participant Reckitt Benckiser has been at the forefront of this trend and demonstrates the best practices identified in the research. RB is a global health, hygiene and home company with brands including Clearasil, Lysol, Scholl and Woolite.Read More
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