Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 26, 2012 03:01 PM
IKEA was the poster-brand for banning disposable shopping bags in American retail, and that early commitment keeps growing and getting greener.
The IKEA Group has just announced an ambitious sustainability strategy, People & Planet Positive (as seen above), as a brand striving for energy independence. Their commitment is to produce as much energy as they consume by 2020 through a $1.95 billion investment in solar and wind projects.
In the near term, as outlined in its sustainability microsite and report, the mega-furniture retailer plans to gather 70% of its energy demands from renewable energy sources by 2015, leveraging wind farms in six European countries that generated 152 gigawatt hours of electricity last year, about 12% of the total needed for its stores and distribution centers.
“The People and Planet Positive plan is designed to protect the company from price shocks and tap into customers' desire for a greener lifestyle," the Guardian reports. "Alongside its energy and resource goals, the plan commits the company to helping Ikea's 770 million customers save money through the use of more efficient products, improving sustainability throughout its supply chain, and supporting human rights and education efforts.”Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 22, 2012 03:47 PM
In 2011, the Levi's brand released 1.5 million pairs of Water‹Less jeans, which will increase to 29 million by year-end for a savings of 360 million liters of water to date. Now it's taking its sustainability efforts to the proverbial garbage dump, with a new Waste<Less denim collection that will, once again, put the world's largest maker of jeans worldwide (sales of $4.8 billion in 2011) at the forefront of sustainable brands.
Part of the Levi's Spring 2013 collection launching in January, the Waste‹Less denim collection will comprise about 400,000 men’s and women’s jeans and jean jackets made of eight crushed brown and green plastic bottles per pair and composed of at least 20% recycled plastic, in a process that reused about 3.5 million bottles and saved enough water to fill 144 Olympic-size swimming pools.
“This collection proves that you don’t have to sacrifice quality, comfort or style to give an end a new beginning,” stated James Curleigh, global president of the Levi's brand. “We don’t just want to reduce our impact on the environment, we want to leave it better than we found it.”Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 15, 2012 04:55 PM
An estimated 3,000 kids die daily, and more than 3.5 million children do not live to the age of five, largely due to diarrhea and pneumonia – both manageable with soap and water. People worldwide wash their hands with water, but far too few use soap, particularly at crucial moments such as after using the toilet, cleaning a child, or before handling food.
In 2008, Unilever, its Lifebuoy soap brand, and Population Services International (PSI) joined forces to declare October 15th Global Handwashing Day. Last year, the public-private partnership produced a PSA starring actress Mandy Moore, among other efforts.
This year's Global Handwashing Day bring a new partnership with the Millennium Villages Project, a joint effort by the Earth Institute at Columbia University and the United Nations Development Program. The PSA simply asks for support for an initiative working with 500,000 people in rural villages across ten countries in sub-Saharan Africa as part of a bigger goal to reach one billion people:Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 11, 2012 04:03 PM
These are rough times for the electric-vehicle business, despite sky-high gasoline prices, extensive marketing of EVs, and a continual drumbeat of support by the news and entertainment media and governments at all levels.
Nissan has become so concerned about lackluster sales of its all-electric Leaf that it is trimming the price on its 2013 model. Ford is in no hurry to invest marketing resources in the launch of its new Focus Electric. And Toyota — which can count on the success of its Prius hybrid brand instead — has all but forsworn any significant EV presence in the market for at least the next few years.
Why? Despite incredible marketing investment and societal pressure thrown behind getting car-buyers to adopt all-electric vehicles, American consumers by and large are resisting the very notion of EVs. A new study even casts doubt on the net environmental benefits of electric cars, depending on how the power to charge their batteries is produced.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 10, 2012 02:12 PM
Marks and Spencer has started a ‘shwopping’ fashion revolution. “It's time to open your mind, your heart, your arms and your wardrobe. Shwopping is a way of living and thinking, because we think that old clothes shouldn't just be thrown out, they should do some good,” explained Ab Fab actress Joanna Lumley at the initiative's launch back in April.
Shwopping asks every shopper to donate an old item when purchasing a new one at selected stores, and M&S will pass the clothes along to Oxfam's network of charity shops across the UK to help those less fortunate. The campaign’s Facebook app lets users shwop socially and register for a monthly prize draw.
In-store Shwop Drops (two items per store visit) make donations easy, and items need not be from M&S. “Our ultimate aim is to collect as many clothes as we sell and change the way we all shop,” says the brand, which just launched a "swhopped" ladies coat (above) last week: a stylish black peacoat that is also the first high street clothing product made from used clothing.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 9, 2012 03:04 PM
Biodegradable shoes and clothing doesn’t sound like a brilliant idea at first. Images of shirts suddenly washing off bodies in a heavy rain or sneakers unexpectedly disintegrating on a hot day come to mind.
But the brand stewards at Puma are asking consumers to just dump all those silly ideas into a compost heap. The company, which has been a leader on the environmental front, is now producing a limited collection of biodegradable clothes and shoes to start selling in 2013 in order to capitalize on the ever-growing global love for all things green. Finally, the brand will have some shoes and gear to go with its Clever Little Bag sustainable packaging that launched in 2010.
"We have decided that sustainability is a mega-trend," chief executive Franz Koch told Reuters, which sees the move as a bid to shore up the brand's green track record against competitors Nike and Adidas. "We want to contribute to a better world. At the same time, we also want to carve out our competitive advantage." ("Better world" was likely an unintentional reference to the umbrella brand for Nike's corporate citizenship and sustainability efforts).Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 3, 2012 11:00 AM
The world talks a good game when it comes to reusing and recycling, but when it comes down to reality, even when companies are making it easy or offering up incentives, the average consumer isn’t always thinking globally and acting locally – especially before they’ve had their first cup of joe in the morning.
Starbucks (up 11 percent in Interbrand's new Best Global Brands report) has been trying to get its customers to bring in their own drinking receptacles or at least buy one at the coffee retailer that they can bring back, but so far, the Seattle-based company’s efforts haven’t had a huge effect.
According to its own critique in its latest Global Responsibility Report, the percent of customers that use a reusable cup has been less than two percent for the last three years.
And it’s not because Starbucks isn’t trying to push eco-awareness, even as it has downsized its reusable cup goals. The company offers free coffee to those who bring in their own cups on Earth Day and this past January found some customers getting their coffee for free all month if they bought a particular Starbucks tumbler. And folks who show up on any other day of the year with their mug, cup, boot, or whatever other beverage container get a 10-cent discount on their coffee.
Now Starbucks is taking another angle toward trying to get its customers to bring in their own receptacles by selling a $1 Grande cup that should last consumers for 30 trips to the coffee machine.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on October 2, 2012 04:14 PM
One year post-introduction, Coca-Cola Enterprises — one of the world’s largest Coca-Cola bottlers, operating locally in eight territories in Western Europe — highlights its progress on its sustainability plan.
CCE’s sustainability plan commits it to setting the standard for sustainable packaging, achieving zero waste in its own operations and recycling more packaging than it uses.