Best Global Green Brands 2014

bc q&a

Reporting for Duty: 5 Questions with GRI CEO Michael Meehan on Sustainability

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 28, 2014 02:13 PM

A leading organization promoting sustainability reporting, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is working hard to create a sustainable global economy that combines long term profitability with ethical behavior, social justice and environmental care. 

Newly appointed CEO and longtime sustainability advocate Michael Meehan comes in at a crucial time as reporting becomes a means to an end and corporate transparency is crucial to brand survival. GRI's reporting framework aims to help companies measure, understand and share information, with GRI guidelines currently in use by more than 4,000 organizations across 60 countries.

Even with nearly two decades of experience in the field, Meehan faces a host of new challenges as compliance and transparency come to the forefront of brands' sustainable stories.

“Sustainability reporting and the transparency it promotes remains a work in progress, and always will be," Allen White, co-founder and former CEO of GRI, wrote in an open letter to Meehan. "New sustainability issues continuously emerge in a dynamic, rapidly changing world… Now, privacy, livable wages, 'dark pools' in financial markets and other emergent issues merit the same level of attention as carbon emissions, occupational health and safety, board diversity and other issues regarded as mainstream. The 'mainstream' does not stand still; it continues to widen.” 

brandchannel spoke with Meehan about corporate transparency, the ROI of reporting, and how social media could propel brands to act more quickly.Continue reading...

see you in court

Bose Tries to Tune Out Beats with Patent Infringement Lawsuit

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 28, 2014 12:13 PM

With European approvals now accounted for, Apple is likely to acquire Beats for $3 billion sometime in the current quarter, but the company may be taking on a lot more than just buzz-worthy headgear. Bose is suing Beats, stating that the maker of the hip headphones infringes on its noise-cancelling technology. 

Bose says that 50 years worth of research, development and engineering on the subject have been infringed upon by Beats and it would like “an injunction against continued infringement, a full account of sales of infringing devices, damages including court costs, determination that the infringement is willful and upwards adjustment of damages accordingly, and ‘other relief’ to be determined by the court,” according to TechCrunch.Continue reading...

app watch

IKEA Founder Wants Consumers to Flap Their Way to Savings

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 28, 2014 10:33 AM

The richest man in Sweden, Ingvar Kamprad, who also happens to be the founder of IKEA, wants to share his money-saving ways with consumers beyond them just buying his affordable, do-it-yourself furnishings.  

As the owner of Ikano Bank, Kamprad recently provided quite the savings incentive when the bank launched its own form of the viral mobile game Flappy Bird. In the game, users fly their piggy banks through challenges like jewelry stores and shoe retailers, Bloomberg reported. The “Flappy Saver” game ran from June 27 to July 18 and was played 1.52 million times, with the winner banking 100,000 krona ($14,625).Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Bose, Volkswagen, Virgin America and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 28, 2014 09:14 AM


Bose sues Beats as Apple buyout sees approval in Europe. 

McDonald’s sees China food supplier order full recall.

Volkswagen marketing chief quits as company eliminates position. 

Zillow acquires Trulia for $3.5 billion.

Virgin America files for IPO.


21st Century Fox would invite Time Warner representation on board in a takeover.

Aston Martin revives Lagonda badge for powerful new sedan.

Audi cuts prices of spare parts in China and plans plug-in hybrid diesel to help cut CO2 emissions.

Blue Moon sales are falling as craft brews take hold.

Burger King depends on young CEO to keep brand fresh.Continue reading...

branded content

Branded Content Watch: Comedians, Comic-Con and Getting Quirky Edition

Posted by Abe Sauer on July 25, 2014 07:43 PM

Disruption, Beer Edition: Saturday Night Live alum Fred Armisen is no stranger to working with advertisers. His cult hit IFC network show Portlandia has a partnership with Subaru. But now Armisen has partnered with Heineken in a campaign called "Routine Interruption" which sees the comedian cold call unsuspecting people on a pay phone. It's a quirky idea, but will it help sell beer?Continue reading...

week in review

Top 10 Stories of the Week: IKEA, Oakley, Sharknado and more

Posted by brandchannel on July 25, 2014 06:10 PM

Our most-read blog posts of the week:

#1 China's Latest Meat Scandal Could Deal a Death Blow to Brands Like KFC

#2 IKEA: A Brand That Knows How to Connect with Content

#3 Paying for Premium: Do Name Brands Survive on Consumer Ignorance?

#4 Sparkling Ice Breaker: 5 Questions with Talking Rain CEO Kevin Klock

#5 Oakley Takes Its Disruptive Design to Retail

#6 Protecting the Sport of Fitness: In and Out of the Box, CrossFit Defends Its Brand

#7 Target Snaps Up Mobile Shopping Innovation with Image Recognition App

#8 Of Mazda, Music and Miata: 5 Questions with Russell Wager

#9 Sharknado 2 Unleashes a Storm of Licensed Merchandise

#10 Walk a Mile in GE's Shoes—On the Moon


Sustainability is Becoming a Key Part of Decision Making for Brands, Consumers

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 25, 2014 05:33 PM

As consumer demand for greater transparency by brands increases, companies are stepping up their commitment to sustainability. 

Procter & Gamble is partnering with the Malaysia Institute for Supply Chain Innovation to help small farmers improve their palm oil and palm kernel oil production as part of its zero deforestation goals set in April after the consumer packaged-goods company was targeted by Greenpeace.

“We already work with larger suppliers to trace the origin of our supply chain, but small farmers—in places like Malaysia and Indonesia—account for 35 to 45 percent of palm oil production,” said Len Sauers, VP P&G Sustainability. 

But brands aren't the only ones having to make decisions with sustainability in mind. New tools and online tracking technologies aim to help better understand consumer behavior with respect to sustainability such as supercookies, browser fingerprinting, location-based identifiers and behavioral tracking.Continue reading...

tech style

At Wearable Tech Expo, Brands Acknowledge Hurdles to Adoption

Posted by Brittany Messenger on July 25, 2014 05:05 PM

As if there were any doubt, the Wearable Tech Expo this week in New York made one thing is certain: the branded wearable space is ready for take-off—but not before sorting out a few potential hurdles.  

In her keynote address at the conference, Myriam Joire, Pebble’s Chief Evangelist, identified battery life technology and usability challenges as two key issues the industry needs to solve.

"If you want to go beyond us, the early adopters, the tech savvy users, you have to solve usability challenges," Joire commented. "The people who buy a smartwatch at Target don't want to do anything complicated. They want it to add value to their lives. Notifications alone have value right now. A busy mom carrying groceries who gets a notification that she has a text message and doesn't have to pull her phone out—that's gold."

But is product innovation enough to grow the industry? While improvements to battery life and usability will allow wearables to serve their users better and longer, how will they get consumers to even give them a shot?Continue reading...

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