Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 14, 2013 11:41 AM
Patagonia, a trailblazer in high-end outdoor apparel and environmental advocacy, is stepping up its corporate responsibility commitment to sustainability with $20 Million and Change, a venture capital fund to invest in startups with innovative solutions involving food, water, energy or waste.
“We believe in our company’s long-term vision around the environment and areas we want to make change in,” said Rose Marcario, CEO of the newly created holding company Patagonia Works. “We know there are great entrepreneurs out there with really great ideas and resources and they could be the next Patagonia.”
Already in the business of providing grants, Patagonia is hoping to nurture the next movement leader, Marcario said. "I do think business is an untapped well for change."
The company has just reorganized into a new umbrella holding company, Patagonia Works, through which it's earmarking the initial $20 million for investment in early-stage small businesses, ranging from $500,000 to $5 million. The plan has only one prerequisite—that a company must already have $1 million in revenue or capitalization.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 14, 2013 10:38 AM
Tesla has left that nasty New York Times review so far in the rear-view mirror that it barely registers anymore. Riding enthusiasm generated by a far more important all-important evaluation of its Model S by Consumer Reports—which gave the brand its highest score ever—the EV maker now sees its stock rising and its prospects growing.
On the heels of a rosy first-quarter earnings report last week, Tesla's shares have continued surging, closing Monday at $87.80 a share, up 57 percent from $55.79 a share on Thursday before the report. "How far can Tesla go?" said Theodore O'Neill, founder of Connecticut-based Litchfield Hills Research, according to USA Today. "As far as they want to go."Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 10, 2013 03:47 PM
Greenpeace is targeting Coca-Cola in its latest campaign, a crowd-funded TV ad that is a call-to-action for Australia’s "Cash for Containers" recycling program, which they say the giant bottler has sabotaged. “Behind Coke’s slogans and sunshine, the beverage giant is trashing Australia,” said Reece Turner, senior campaigner at Greenpeace Australia Pacific.
In March, Coca-Cola won its court case to stop a recycling refund scheme in the Northern Territory—a program that doubled recycling rates and has run successfully in South Australia for more than 30 years, according to Greenpeace. The program added 10 cents to retail prices for manufacturers like Coke, but consumers would get a refund for recycling the containers in appropriate bins.
Clean Up Australia estimates that Australians use between 13 to 14 billion drinks containers a year and that 45 percent of the plastic waste that is collected on Clean Up Australia Day is beverage industry-related. “This loose rubbish is estimated to affect up to 65 percent of Australian seabirds. Some mistake the plastic for food. When they swallow too much, their tiny stomachs become so full they're unable to ingest any food—literally starving to death on a full stomach,” according to Greenpeace.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 3, 2013 10:22 AM
Bill Ford Jr. long has been the environmental visionary for Ford Motor Co. and, arguably, one of the "greenest" minds in the global auto business. So it's no surprise that he has emerged as a leading figure in the rising interest in self-driving automobiles and in the debate over what role they might have in the urban-transportation networks of the future.
As much as Ford's scion and executive chairman already has led the company to a forward position in many areas of sustainability—green manufacturing operations, some of the first mainstream hybrids, a fuel-economic product line— Ford Jr. now must help the company and the industry adapt to an era in which everyone seems really eager to take driving functions away from fallible humans and give them to computers in a modern car that, as Ford put it, "is really becoming a rolling group of sensors."
Interested parties range from Ford and other auto makers, to governments, to digital giants such as Google. "The car as we know it, and how it's used in people's lives, is going to change really dramatically and it's going to change fast," Ford said at the annual Milken Global Conference in Los Angeles this week (watch his session below).Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 2, 2013 03:36 PM
As Kermit the Frog taught an entire generation, “It's not easy being green.”
Clorox’s Green Works is a case study in the steep learning curve of green branding. The line of environmentally friendly housecleaning products launched in 2008 with an endorsement from the Sierra Club, which helped boost its market penetration and credibility.
That $1.3 million contract ends in December and the brand chose Earth Day to announce a strategic marketing revamp, including a new tone of voice (embodied by its new manifesto, posted on Facebook and its website) and the removal of the Sierra Club logo from all Green Works packaging, a clear sign of the times as green cleaning products have been forced to reduce their premium prices and re-position the sell to deflect declining sales.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 1, 2013 10:34 AM
Three heavyweights of American industrialism were among those who spoke at a Fortune's Brainstorm Green conference, and they had a lot to say about what they're doing to make their companies more sustainable.
GM CEO Dan Akerson, Procter & Gamble CEO Bob McDonald, and General Mills CEO Kendall Powell each held forth at the sustainability-focused confab.
Akerson was the most newsworthy. He is genuinely fond of the Chevrolet Volt and will defend it against all comers, Akerson threw a potential trump card on the table against critics of GM's groundbreaking plug-in hybrid who believe it's way too expensive for whatever environmental benefits it yields, especially given all the federal-government subsidies it gets: The company plans a price cut of $7,000 to $10,000 on the "next generation" of the car and even plans for Volt "to be profitable," Akerson said.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 26, 2013 01:36 PM
As part of its "Better World" corporate citizenship commitment, Nike is working with some of America's brightest governmental minds on an initiative to create more sustainable materials.
Founded in 2010, LAUNCH is a strategic collaboration between NASA, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the US State Department and Nike to seek out visionaries whose ideas and technologies can create a more sustainable world.
This week, Nike convened 150 materials specialists, designers, academics, manufacturers, entrepreneurs and NGOs in green manufacturing at the two-day LAUNCH 2020 Summit, part of a multi-year incubation process.
“Innovation is most powerful when it’s activated by collaboration between unlikely partners, coupled with investment dollars, marketing know-how and determination.” said Nike President and CEO Mark Parker. “Now is the time for big, bold solutions. Incremental change won’t get us where we need to go fast enough or at a scale that makes a difference.”
To propel the innovation, Nike is sponsoring the LAUNCH Systems Innovation Challenge, which is an open call competition for innovative ideas and processes to transform the way fabrics are made. The challenge will result in 10 product innovations which will be matched up with a team of investors and marketers to aid in the manufacturing process.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on April 24, 2013 05:38 PM
Havaianas, best known to the world's consumers as the brand that represents the ubiquitous flip-flop, turned 50 in 2012. It was a year in which the Brazilian company made enough flip-flops to circle the world 50 times.
Carla Schmitzberger, who oversees the brand in her role as head of the sandals business unit at Havaianas' parent company, Alpargatas, said that until the 1990s, "mostly poor people wore" Havaianas. "However, there was a small group of wealthier people that were wearing the product, but they were wearing them at home, and they were embarrassed to be seen with them because they were considered a poor person's footwear," she shared in an interview in the latest edition of Interbrand IQ.
Indeed, the brand was launched in 1962 with the goal of outfitting Brazil's peasants — not by a Brazilian but by a Scotsman, Robert Fraser, who was inspired by traditional Japanese shoe design.Continue reading...