Archive for June, 2010
According to a new global study of 750 chief executives undertaken by Accenture in partnership with the UN Global Compact initiative, sustainability efforts have not fallen to the bottom of the corporate agenda, but have become firmly ingrained as a high priority for business leaders. Ninety-three percent of those interviewed believe sustainability is critical to their company’s future success and have moved eco-focused initiatives from third or fourth on the list (when the poll was taken back in 2007) to the top.
The study found some major shifts in how executives approach sustainability including the factors that are now driving their decisions to continue working toward integrating sustainability into the core business. The main motivation has shifted from a desire to impress employees to a more commercially focused interest in generating revenue. Even though consumer interest in sustainability has yet to fully translate into buying power, CEOs believe that will change as products mature and government spending begins to drive the market.
The study also found that more than three quarters of the chief executives and chairmen interviewed said the recession had raised the profile of low-carbon initiatives, while the majority appointed the development of environmentally sustainable products and services as a way of driving revenue growth. “The CEOs we spoke to are looking at sustainability through an innovation lens and a market opportunity lens that just wasn’t there three years ago,” said Peter Lacy, head of Accenture’s sustainability services practice. “The next 10 years will see a fundamental shift in the way they do business.”
Lara Pearson, a Roundtable Lunch Discussion leader during the 2009 Good And Green®-The Green Marketing Conference, has been named Chief Sustainability Officer of Rimon Law Group. Pearson becomes the firm’s first CSO and will first be tasked with seeing that Rimon Law Group meets each of the actions needed to participate in the ABA/EPA Law Office Climate Challenge within fifteen months. Meeting the ABA/EPA Challenge involves participating in three EPA programs: (1) WasteWise for best practices for paper management; (2) Green Power Partnership for use of renewal energy / energy credits; and (3) Energy Star for adopting and energy management plan and aspiring to reduce energy use by at least ten percent. While Rimon’s current employees meet the criteria of these programs, Pearson must facilitate the expansion of these conservation practices to all of Rimon’s attorneys, employees and contractors alike, and each of their respective offices.
The ExxonMobil Green Team recently kicked-off its 29th year of providing summer internships and educational opportunities for low- to moderate-income high school students. In 2010, 340 students have been selected to participate in one of 10 cities across the country. During the summer, students work on a range of beautification and environmental projects to benefit their communities. The Green Team takes on meaningful projects that offer hands-on experience and leave a lasting impact – everything from water conservation research to trail building and maintenance in national parks. The Green Team also includes a classroom component designed to enhance awareness of the important relationship between education and work and encourage students to finish high school and pursue higher education.
ExxonMobil has invested $19.4 million in the program nationally since its inception in 1981, reaching nearly 7,700 students. “For nearly 30 years, we’ve had the honor of investing in high school students and their work in communities across the country,” said Robert Lanyon, corporate citizenship and community investments manager for ExxonMobil. “We hope the Green Team students will walk away from this experience with a sense of pride in their accomplishments and the confidence to achieve their goals.”
Mother Nature Network (mnn.com) has formed Mother Nature & Partners (mnandp.com), a wholly owned subsidiary providing advertising, public relations and digital marketing services focused on environmental and corporate responsibility initiatives. The new firm will be led by Tarik Sedky who has served as chief digital officer for Young & Rubicam Advertising since 2007. “Our connection to MNN gives us a unique advantage, offering unparalleled relations with the media, nonprofits, NGOs, government and community leadership,” says Sedky. “Furthermore, there is no organization that is as up-to-date or understands the topic and current landscape of environmental and corporate responsibility better. Combine that with the marketing experience of those involved, and we feel we offer a very valuable proposition.”
“Helping companies better communicate their sustainability programs is a core part of our mission at MNN,” said Joel Babbit, MNN’s CEO and co-founder. “Today’s public wants to know more than just what a company sells — they are making purchasing decisions and basing brand loyalty on how companies operate and conduct themselves. There are a large number of companies making a positive difference in the communities they serve, including employees who are contributing in significant ways. However, there is a great deal of confusion about the best way to communicate these accomplishments. We believe there is a significant demand for an agency that offers this specialized expertise.”
MN&P will operate as a separate company and be based in Brooklyn, N.Y.
PUMA is partnering with Soles4Souls, the non-profit organization focused on providing free shoes to those in need around the world, to collect new and gently used shoes at its 100 store locations. Through mid-July, PUMA is encouraging customers to bring in any pair of gently worn shoes—any brand—for 30% off a new pair of sneakers at PUMA stores and 15% off at PUMA Outlet stores. In many store locations, customers will be able to participate in a giant outdoor PUMA Shoe Toss where they can pitch their shoe donations at three targets to win prizes.
In addition, PUMA is expanding the program and benefiting Soles4Souls by also accepting monetary donations in its stores as well as on shop.puma.com.
The Foreign Policy Association (FPA) has honored the 2009 Good And Green® Showcase Sponsor Clorox Company for its long-time commitment to corporate social responsibility. In particular, the FPA Board of Directors honored Clorox for taking a leadership role in making natural cleaning mainstream through its Green Works® brand. “We are pleased to recognize Clorox for its corporate citizenship and for the innovation of Green Works products that make effective and affordable naturally derived cleaners accessible to millions of consumers around the world,” said Noel V. Lateef, president and CEO of the Foreign Policy Association.
“Three years ago Clorox identified Health and Wellness and Sustainability to be among the global trends we wanted to address through our product line-up and the way we approach business,” said Clorox CEO Don Knauss when he accepted the FPA award. “This led to the development of Green Works; the acquisition of Burt’s Bees; and a refocus on Brita as a more affordable, eco-friendly alternative to bottled water. This focus also led to forming relationships with organizations we had never talked to like the Sierra Club. And it confirmed my fundamental belief that bringing together a collection of leaders with diverse viewpoints can lead to a better result. We’ve seen that in action at Clorox.”
In recognition of UN World Environment Day, Avon just announced that it will plant two million trees to restore the Atlantic Rainforest in South America. This commitment is part of the company’s Hello Green Tomorrow Campaign that was launched in mid-March and utilizes the brand’s strong woman-to-woman network in a global environmental movement. “The two million trees we are planting represent the initial milestone in what will be an ongoing global environmental mobilization effort,” said Andrea Jung, Avon’s chairman and chief executive officer. “In addition to raising funds to plant and restore trees, we are also leveraging our powerful woman-to-woman network to drive ‘green’ educational information on the five simple things each and every one of us can do to improve our environment.” She added, “This comprehensive Hello Green Tomorrow initiative reflects the company’s commitment to environmental stewardship and to doing our part to protect our planet for the next generation.” All trees planted in the Atlantic Rainforest through Hello Green Tomorrow will support the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign. The trees will be planted and the restored forest monitored by The Nature Conservancy, Avon’s partner in the program.
Hello Green Tomorrow is Avon’s first external effort for an environmental cause, but the company has a long heritage of mobilizing its Independent Sales Representatives and customers to address the issues of breast cancer and domestic violence. Through 2009, more than $725 million was raised and donated for these causes worldwide through the Avon Foundation for Women.
For more information and to get involved in the program, visit www.hellogreentomorrow.com.