Best Global Green Brands 2014

health matters

International Health Organizations at Odds Over E-Cigarette Risks

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 27, 2014 11:32 AM

Just as Big Tobacco has rolled out new e-cigarette products across the US, the World Health Organization has expressed “grave concern” over the industry's escalating involvement in the e-cigarette market in a recent report, “warning that the financially powerful companies could...use the current tolerance of the new products as a gateway to ensnaring a new generation of smokers at a time when the public health authorities seem to be winning the battle against tobacco.” 

A slew of major tobacco companies have been launching e-cig brands including Imperial Tobacco, Altria Group, British American Tobacco, China Tobacco, Indian Tobacco Company and Phillip Morris International, which recently acquired one of Britain’s biggest e-cigarette makers, Nicocigs. Altria and Reynolds have made much headway, dominating about 25 percent of e-cig sales in the US market with their MarkTen and Vuse products. However, Lorillard still dominates with its Blu brand.

While the jury is largely still out on whether e-cigarettes pose a health risk like traditional cigarettes, the WHO claims that the new nicotine-laced devices do indeed pose a health risk to the public.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Apple, GM, McDonald's and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 27, 2014 09:37 AM

TOP STORIES

Apple prepares to make largest iPad to date, report says.

GM ignition-switch fund receives claims for more than 100 deaths.

World Health Organization goes after e-cigarettes with stronger regulations.

McDonald's reviews relationship with troubled China meat supplier OSI.

Burger King encounters blowback to Tim Hortons acquisition over tax-inversion issue despite details of combination that will make it substantially a Canadian company and other attractions of the deal.

MORE BRAND NEWS

AT&T names new CEO of AT&T Mobility.

Adidas Poland launches Instragam game to promote new soccer cleats.

Airbnb announces new e-mail protections for users.

Ashley Madison comes under fire for profile-deletion fees.

Asus teases design for upcoming smartwatch.

Benefit Cosmetics taps 90s nostalgia for latest ad.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Nestlé Adopts Industry-Altering Commitment to Animal Welfare

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 26, 2014 06:45 PM

Nestlé will adopt animal welfare standards affecting 7,300 of its global suppliers, millions of grateful animals and an equal number of conscience consumers.

As one of the world’s largest food companies, Nestlé’s commitment is sending ripples throughout the food eco-system. “In the digital world, everyone has a smartphone and they want to know where things come from and share that information," Kevin Petrie, chief procurement officer for Nestlé in North America, told the New York Times. “Is it good for me? Is the quality good? Has it been responsibly sourced?” 

The new standards will exclude product purchases from suppliers who raise pigs in gestation stalls, chickens in barren battery cages, cattle that are dehorned or tail-docked without anesthesia and animals force-fed drugs to promote growth. 

“We know that our consumers care about the welfare of farm animals and we, as a company, are committed to ensuring the highest possible levels of farm animal welfare across our global supply chain,” said Benjamin Ware, Nestlé’s Manager of Responsible Sourcing in a press release.Continue reading...

retail watch

On Comeback Trail, What Can JCPenney, Best Buy Teach Other Retailers?

Posted by Dale Buss on August 26, 2014 06:04 PM

JCPenney and Best Buy have shown signs of life in their earnings reports in recent days, providing some hope to brand leaders, other employees, investors and communities associated with the companies. Do their unlikely, though still very tentative, comebacks provide some lessons for other retailers that now are afflicted with big leaks in their own boats, such as Walmart, Target and Sears?

One of the main lessons of the improved recent performances by Minneapolis-based Best Buy and Dallas-based JCPenney is that major shifts in strategy may be required to survive today's extremely challenging retail scene—and that some determination in following them can pay off relatively quickly.

Best Buy has shown some progress under new CEO Hubert Joly in implementing its "Renew Blue" plan, which focuses on boosting online sales, enhancing the in-store experience and leveraging the retailer's multichannel presence.Continue reading...

branding together

Burger King Puts Canadians at Ease While Buffett Helps Buy Tim Hortons

Posted by Dale Buss on August 26, 2014 04:36 PM

The $11.4 billion acquisition of Tim Hortons by Burger King has added twists and turns as its shape has become more apparent over the last day or so.

Among the most interesting: Burger King has promised not to mess with Tim Hortons' beloved place as a national treasure in Canada; it really wants to press the potential advantages of a multi-brand fast-food holding company a la Yum! Brands; and Mr. Everywhere, Warren Buffett, directly injected himself and his money into Burger King's purchase of Tim Hortons. There's also the live wire of the tax-inversion issue in the US.

It's interesting that billionaire extraordinaire Buffett kicked in $3 billion through his company, Berkshire Hathaway, to help finance the deal, amounting to about 25 percent of the required funds. Shareholders of both companies have welcomed that news because of Buffett's renowned Midas touch.

That certainly could be helpful as the combined company faces headwinds including a sluggish global fast-food environment, Burger King's struggles in making significant headway against McDonald's, and Tim Hortons' own challenges in establishing a significant presence in thde US market and abroad—even though it makes more money than Burger King and Dunkin' Donuts combined.Continue reading...

sustainability

Unilever, Kimberly-Clark Test Environment-Saving Innovations

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 26, 2014 02:24 PM

Global CPG brand Unilever, the world’s largest producer of ice cream, is rolling out solar freezers in New York’s Central Park to keep Popsicles, Good Humor or Magnum-brand bars ice cold while not putting strain on the environment. 

The freezers are part of the company’s Sustainable Living Plan and delivers on the commitment to reduce greenhouse emissions from refrigeration. It’s a strategic move for Unilever that already relies on more than two million POS freezers to reach consumers and may become the first commercially-viable solar freezer in the category.

The company committed to buying 850,000 freezers between 2010 and 2015, but has already exceeded that goal and purchased nearly 1.5 million freezers to date. The freezers, made using recycled materials, reduce energy consumption to less than 0.5 kWh per day— equivalent to running a television for about 3 hours. This in turn reduces the load on national power grids and eliminates the need for producing large quantities of dry ice.Continue reading...

place branding

Rule-Breaker to Rule-Maker: Is NYC's Long List of Bans Ruining Its Brand?

Posted by Elisabeth Dick Oak on August 26, 2014 11:51 AM

NYC. Gotham. The Big Apple. New York City used to be the place to go a little crazy. It was a town of Whitman and Warhol. You could fly high or fall on your face. As they say, if you could make it there, you could make it anywhere.

Over the last decade, however, New York City’s brand has moved from being known as the “breaker of rules” to the “maker of rules,” and it’s starting to feel, well, a little tame.

Graffiti, and even scratchiti, is immediately scrubbed from subway cars. Tickets for jay walking have sky rocketed. The speed limit may soon decrease to 25 mph and New Yorkers’ favorite hangover cure, the so-called “bottomless brunch,” is now illegal.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Burger King Buys Tim Hortons, Amazon, Best Buy and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 26, 2014 09:37 AM

TOP STORIES

Burger King finalizes deal to buy Tim Hortons for about $11 billion, with explicit help of Warren Buffett, and will test portfolio approach to brands.

Amazon buys Twitch Video for $970 million to rival YouTube and eyes expansion in online-ad market.

Best Buy tops financial predictions as realignment starts to pay off.

Emmys sees HBO, CBS and PBS score most wins. as telecast gets tepid reviews.

Blue Buffalo gets slapped by National Advertising Division over pet food claims. 

MORE BRAND NEWS

Arby's pursues younger customers.

Buffalo Wild Wings invests in taco concept.

Century 21 partners in videos with cleaning expert.

Chevrolet and Buick achieve sole gains among auto brands in new customer-satisfaction survey.

Estee Lauder expands breast-cancer awareness to year-round campaign.Continue reading...

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