Best Global Green Brands 2014

doing good

Reinventing the Toilet, and Feeling Flush with Pride

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 23, 2014 10:28 AM

The forerunner to the modern flush system was patented in 1775 by London watchmaker Alexander Cummings, and ever since, designers and inventors have tried to create a better mousetrap for a basic human activity. But access to a flush toilet divides the globe. According to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, an estimated 2.5 billion people worldwide, or two out of every five, don’t have such access.

The need is great (nearly 1.5 million children die each year from food and water tainted with fecal matter) and the category is ripe for innovation, which spurred the Gates Foundation to launch the Reinvent the Toilet challenge in 2011 as part of its commitment to water, sanitation and hygiene.

We recently profiled American Standard CEO Jay Gould, whose company has partnered with the Gates Foundation on Flush for Good, an initiative to improve sanitation and community health in emerging markets.

The Gates fund has helped other such innovations as the Loowatt waterless toilet invented by Virginia Gardiner has raised nearly £2m in funding in total. A biodegradable lining runs around the bowl that pushes waste into a cartridge that gets broken down by microorganisms into biogas and fertilizer. The technology this week had a successful debut at the Latitude Festival in the UK.Continue reading...

doing good

McDonald's is the Latest Brand to Embrace Collaborative Sustainability

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 2, 2014 03:23 PM

Collaboration. It's what's for breakfast, lunch and dinner if you work in brands' corporate citizenship efforts these days. After all, as Marshall McLuhan stated back in 1969, "There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew."

So it's encouraging to see statements such as the following: "We are breaking new ground with our collaborative effort to source sustainable beef," says J.C. Gonzalez-Mendez, McDonald’s SVP of Global Corporate Social Responsibility, in the company's just-released 2020 CSR and Sustainability Framework (The Theme: "Our Journey Together: For Good"). Partnerships will also help McDonald's achieve its other sustainability goals, which range from all-fiber-based packaging to in-store recycling.Continue reading...

doing good

Patagonia Ups Environmental Commitment with $20 Million Venture Fund

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...

doing good

PSA Watch: Michelle Obama Taps Big Bird; Disney's Cinderella Finds a Cause

Posted by Shirley Brady on February 21, 2013 10:46 AM

The White House is celebrating the third anniversary of the Let's Move healthy kids challenge with an old friend: Big Bird.

The beloved Sesame Street character became a talking point during the last presidential election debates regarding PBS funding. Now he's been a VIP at the White House to help First Lady Michelle Obama engage kids in her national anti-obesity program with a new PSA above (see another spot here).

Another powerhouse kids entertainment franchise is lending one of its stars to a government effort. Disney is leveraging its Princess power by hiring out Cinderella for a new spot for the Ad Council, promoting safer car seats in a new public awareness campaign you can watch below.Continue reading...

doing good

At a Bridge in Seoul Where Koreans Frequently Give Up, Samsung Steps In

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 7, 2013 01:09 PM

  At the Mapo Bridge in Seoul, which now sports positive imagery.

South Korea has one of the developed world's highest suicide rates — and Seoul's Mapo Bridge has the sad distinction of a suicide hot spot. More than 100 people have tried to take their own lives there in the past five years alone.

But a recent partnership between the city of Seoul, Samsung's Life Insurance division and the Cheil Worldwide agency aims to provoke second thoughts among those who come to the bridge overwhelmed with despair.

The Mapo, which spans the Han River, is now equipped with interactive guardrail sensors that light up as people walk by, offering messages of hope such as "The best is yet to come." The bridge also displays kind words, jokes and other messages that were chosen in consultation with psychologists and other experts, according to Ad Age.Continue reading...

doing good

H&M Joins With WWF to Improve Stewardship of Global Water Supply

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 1, 2013 06:03 PM

Swedish multinational retailer H&M has joined forces for a three-year global collaboration with the World Wildlife Federation, adding French actress/singer Vanessa Paradis to be the spring face of H&M’s Conscious Collection.

Paradis sports fashions made from Conscious materials such as organic cotton, recycled polyester and Tencel.

“I like being part of something like the Conscious collection at H&M," she said in a statement. "I try my best to shop consciously, and vintage is very much part of my wardrobe. I love the style and it works in an eco-friendly way because I like to use and reuse old clothes.”Continue reading...

doing good

Fendi to Pour Millions Into Rome's Treasured Fountain, Restoring Its Luster

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 29, 2013 12:22 PM

About $4,000 worth of coins are thrown into Rome’s massive, gorgeous Trevi Fountain each day. Making the gesture is said to guarantee your return to Rome.

Now Fendi is throwing a lot more than a few coins into the Trevi’s waters. The Italian fashion house has announced it will hand over $2.9 million to help keep the centuries-old fountain, featured memorably in Federico Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita,” in good shape.

Fendi, founded in Romein 1925, announced the 20-month project Monday along with two of its big-name designers, Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi.Continue reading...

doing good

Let's Go Crazy: Coca-Cola Aims to Inspire People to Open Happiness

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 11, 2013 02:02 PM

Coca-Cola is famed for its Open Happiness campaign, committing random acts of kindness with surprise giveaways and pop-up brand experiences in local markets.

Now the reigning Best Global Brand is inspiring people to commit their own random acts of happiness in a pro-social campaign that invites you to "Go crazy and do good for others."

The "Let's Go Crazy" theme was introduced last year during the brand's UEFA Euro 2012 European campaign. This campaign's theme song: Supertramp's "Give a Little Bit." Watch more of the stealth acts of happiness in the new campaign below.Continue reading...

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