brands under fire
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 7, 2014 05:52 PM
Procter & Gamble’s proud claim that nearly 5 billion people use its products is backfiring as a year-long investigation by Greenpeace definitively shows the company is sourcing palm oil from companies connected to widespread forest devastation.
Palm oil, common in detergents, shampoos, cosmetics and a myriad of household products is directly linked to a supply chain that causes forest fires, habitat destruction and perhaps even species extinction for the Sumatran tiger.
“So how does this affect you? Well, this means that every time you and your family reach for a bottle of Head & Shoulders, from the supermarket shelf to the bathroom cabinet, P&G is making you a part of this scandal," Greenpeace wrote in its report.
Greenpeace has called on the multinational company to commit to an immediate “no-deforestation” policy in Indonesia where palm oil is sourced. Last year, P&G bought nearly 462,000 tons of palm oil of which less than 10 percent is certified sustainably-sourced, according to the environmental activist group.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 7, 2014 10:58 AM
Instead of pressing retailers to remove a GMO food from their shelves, activists are trying to head off genetically-engineered salmon at the river mouth by getting retailers to commit not to sell a biotech-altered fish even before it's commercially available.
So far, Kroger, Safeway, Target, Trader Joe's, H-E-B and other major food retailers have pledged not to sell a GMO salmon produced by AquaBounty Technologies even though it looks like the FDA is about to approve its sale in what would be the federal government's first clearance to a genetically-modified animal for human consumption.
The largest grocer in the US, Walmart, hasn't weighed in yet, and its size can often tip the balance in such matters.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 26, 2014 12:49 PM
As competition in the sports apparel space heats up, adidas is revamping its retail strategy so that it's in a better position to sell products directly to consumers. The brand is doing so by introducing an innovative retail concept, HomeCourt, that debuted Monday at the brand's location in Beijing.
The store, which is the brand's largest, will be a model for 24 other locations that will open around the world, especially in "emerging markets like Russia and the Middle East where there are few existing chains selling sporting goods unlike developed economies," Reuters reports.
"Our new retail concept, HomeCourt, offers a consumer experience unlike any that Adidas fans have enjoyed before," said Michael Stanier, chief sales officer for the company's Consumer Direct division, according to Portland Business Journal. "We look forward to bringing this concept to adidas fans throughout the world this year."Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on February 18, 2014 10:57 AM
In October 2012, IKEA, the largest furniture retailer in the world, announced its "People and Planet Positive" initiative in an effort to make sustainability a household word.
In its just-released Sustainability Report for 2013, the Swedish company indicated it is well on its way to generating 70 percent of its energy from renewables by 2017 and becoming a 100 percent renewable energy company by 2020. That means IKEA will produce as much renewable energy as it will consume. Reaching this ambitious goal takes an investment of more than $2 billion in clean energy through 2015, with a big commitment to such alternative energy sources as solar and wind.
Sustainability may be a big idea, but it also takes a commitment to small things, like LED lightbulbs. In IKEA's first ever sustainability marketing campaign in the UK, a fanciful television ad depicting a lit-up enchanted forest claims, "By 2016 we will only sell energy efficient LED lightbulbs. Sometimes small things can make a big difference." Peter Wright, IKEA's UK/Ireland marketing manager, says the ad speaks to IKEA's "thrifty and resourceful" Swedish roots. "This is a sustainability campaign but also a brand campaign. We need to explain what we stand for and celebrate that."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 17, 2014 05:20 PM
Super-producer Pharrell Williams, the recent recipient of a Grammy for record of the year and scheduled to perform his Academy Award-nominated song “Happy” at the Oscars on March 2, is turning his creative attention to a new environmentally-friendly denim collection.
RAW for the Oceans is a collaboration between Dutch fashion label G-Star RAW and eco-thread company Bionic Yarn, where Pharrell is creative director.
The jeans, which will be available in August, are made from yarn that consists of plastic litter from the ocean. Pharrell announced the collaboration at New York Fashion Week, saying that he had been looking for an in to fashion and this opportunity was the first that "made sense."
“Everyone has jeans in their closet,” he said, according to the Wall Street Journal. “Bionic Yarn is a company built around performance, and denim is the perfect category to show the world what Bionic Yarn can do.”Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 14, 2014 06:34 PM
Bacardi Gets Green
Bacardi Limited may be 152 years old, but it is thinking like a youngster. The world’s largest privately held spirits company has set its sights on obtaining “40 percent of the sugarcane-derived products used to make its rums from certified, sustainable sources by 2017 and 100 percent by 2022—an industry first—as part of a new global sustainability campaign,” according to Sustainable Brands.
“Protecting the natural resources we use to create our brands, at every step along the value chain, is central to our corporate responsibility,” said Ed Shirley, Bacardi's president and CEO, according to the site. “We’ve always set the bar high. Now, we’re taking our solid, sustainable foundation to the next level.”
The sustainability campaign doesn't just extend to its supply chain, but also to its corporate offices. As part of the new campaign being launched across 75 offices, Bacardi employees will be able to track just how environmentally-friendly they are being both at home and in the office.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 14, 2014 05:41 PM
Apple’s reputation as a tech innovator may be tarnished of late, but its corporate social responsibilties are shining more brightly as the company’s eighth annual supply-chain report said the company’s hardware factories do not use tantalum, a metal used in electronics, that is mined in areas currently engaged in warfare.
Warlords in the Democratic Republic of Congo profit from the sale of ores containing tantalum, as well as tungsten, tin and gold and grass-roots activists have called on corporate tech giants to keep "conflict minerals" out of their supply chain.
The report also uncovered fewer cases of child labor than last year: 23 underage workers as opposed to 74. Apple has been roundly criticized for using minors in its global supply chain for parts for iPhones and iPads which are made in 451 plants operated by various suppliers that collectively employ nearly 1.5 million people.
Apple relies heavily on Asian partners like Taiwan's Foxconn Technology Group and has been criticized for not interfering with mandates for excessively long workweeks at its supplier factories, of which several were cited for not paying workers for overtime and no providing insurance. However, according to the new report, Apple says that its suppliers have achieved an average of 95 percent compliance with its standard maximum 60-hour work week.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 14, 2014 04:37 PM
Just in time for Valentine's Day, Tiffany and Target joined many other retailers that already have banded together against "dirty gold," saying their procurement practices will shy away from it.
"Dirty gold" isn't exactly blood diamonds, but it's became the next cause celebre in the transparently sustainable production of jewelry. Groups behind "No Dirty Gold" say that gold mining is one of the world's most environmentally destructive industries, producing about 40 percent of America's toxic waste including aresenic, lead and mercury.
The group's Golden Rules pact—also subscribed to by Zales, Walmart, QVC and other brands—includes a promise to study metals supply chains, improve supplier sourcing criteria, increase recycled-gold content and seek more responsibly produced metals, according to Marketing Daily.Continue reading...