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...
truth in advertising
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 1, 2012 06:48 PM
The Federal Trade Commission’s Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims, commonly referred to as the “green” guides, were first published in 1992 to help marketers and advertisers avoid deceptive and far-reaching eco claims without proof or qualification. The final revisions were released Monday with a press conference outlining the changes.
“The introduction of environmentally friendly products into the marketplace is a win for consumers who want to purchase greener products and for producers who want to sell them,” stated FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. “But this win-win can only occur if marketers’ claims are truthful and substantiated. The FTC’s changes to the Green Guides will level the playing field for honest business people and it is one reason why we had such broad support.”Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 27, 2012 01:34 PM
There was an interesting reaction to the recent report that organic food holds nary a nutritional edge over regular fare: It did little to dent the enthusiasm of organic mavens because most of them don't buy the stuff for that reason but, rather, because it carries fewer pesticides and because organic farmers raise their crops sustainably.
In a similar way, the subtext of a new report on "green" spending by U.S. consumers may be more interesting than its headline's conclusion: "Organic Buying, Other Behaviors Have Gone Mainstream – But Green Purchasing Still Faces Price Barriers."
The consumers surveyed said they're less willing to pay more for the most environmentally benign products in their categories, according to new findings by GfK Roper in its latest Green Gauge report. Just 42 percent say they are willing to pay more for a "green" car, for instance, down from 62 percent in 2008. And only 60 percent say they'd be willing to pay more for energy-efficient light bulbs, down from 70 percent.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 24, 2012 02:17 PM
When it comes to hybrids, Toyota is saying: If it ain't broke, don't fix it. And if it's a winning formula, don't alter it — double down.
That's why Toyota Motor Corp. on Monday announced (in a press conference and release titled: "TMC Announces Status of Its Environmental Technology Development, Future Plans") a drastic scaling back, close to an abandonment, of its all-electric vehicles — the iQ and eQ EV models — in favor of a dramatic ramping up of its plans for developing and producing new hybrids.
"Toyota’s engineers have been involved in Electric Vehicle (EV) research and development for over 40 years, since 1971," Toyota's press site notes. "Developed in parallel with the company’s pioneering full Hybrid (HV), Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) and Fuel Cell (FCV) vehicles, the EV represents Toyota’s long-term vision for short range sustainable mobility."
It turns out that long-term vision was more short-term than anticipated when it comes to EVs.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 11, 2012 03:57 PM
Who says you can’t teach old dogs new tricks? Monadnock Paper Mills exemplifies the transformative mind-set of brands willing to change their process to ensure performance with conscience.
The oldest continuously operating paper mill in the U.S., founded in 1819 and based in Bennington, NH, Monadnock this week launched a suite of fiber-based solutions for eco-savvy brand owners made with high-quality alternatives to plastics, Envi Portfolio.
Its sustainability-seeking packaging clients include Gap Inc. and Burt's Bees, which commented:
“Gap Inc. is committed to making sustainable choices that work for our customers and for the environment. Monadnock’s Envi Portfolio of environmentally-friendly, recycled paper and gift card products allow us to bring this effort to our stores.” — Jorge Perez-Olmo, Senior Marketing Manager
“Monadnock helps brands like ours continue to make more sustainable packaging choices without sacrificing performance, beauty or budget.” — Julie Colón, Brand Design Manager, Burt's Bees
Monadnock uses renewable, responsibly sourced FSC Certified fiber and post-consumer waste in a manufacturing process that is chlorine free, 100% green electrical energy, carbon neutral, under an ISO 14001 independently verified, audited, and certified Environmental Management System.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 4, 2012 03:16 PM
“If something isn’t given a value, people tend to waste it. Water is our most useful resource, but those using it often don’t even cover the costs of its infrastructure,” said Nestlé CEO Paul Bulcke, speaking in Stockholm for 2012 World Water Week, which concluded Friday.
The key issues this year: water and food security, followed by partnerships, tools and data. The water-food-energy triangle was key at the 2011 Bonn Nexus Conference, but the key the difference this year, according to an essay penned by David Grant, SABMiller's senior director of water risk and partnerships, for the Guardian, “was the progression of the issue from a broad theoretical concept to actually seeing practical examples of how it is being both experienced and addressed on the ground.”
Grant added, “It has been encouraging to hear of projects being implemented that not only demonstrate understanding of the link between the issues but also the recognition that we can no longer tackle resource challenges in silos.” But will they go far enough, soon enough? Promoting and monitoring sustainable water practices with partners along the supply chain is vital, as Nestlé's CEO argues.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 31, 2012 12:55 PM
Coca-Cola ♥ the Olympic Games. After all, the soda maker has been lapping up the Olympics for every bit of marketing goodwill it can get for more than 80 years.
Now this year’s Olympics are in full swing and Coca-Cola can see the light at the end of the tunnel of its Move to the Beat campaign with singer Katy B and producer Mark Ronson that kicked off ahead of its sponsorship of the 8,000-mile Olympic torch relay. It's been a busy year with a variety of London 2012 marketing tie-ins.
And now Coca-Cola is extending its musical chops in a just-announced partnership with will.i.am to launch a sustainability-collaboration platform for brands dubbed EKOCYCLE, which is partnering to produce greener Beats by Dr Dre headphones — a brand that isn't music to the London Olympics organizers' ears.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 30, 2012 11:37 AM
The importance of eco-ratings to consumers is a lesson that Apple recently learned, after getting heat for dropping out of the US federal EPEAT registry, and quickly recommiting to submitting its devices for EPEAT ratings. Now AT&T will is making its eco-ratings on branded postpaid mobile devices available in-store.
AT&T's Eco Rating scale (which was announced in February) measures mobile products according to criteria including hazardous substances, environmentally preferable materials, energy efficiency, end of life take back and environmentally responsible manufacturing.
"AT&T's eco-ratings give consumers product information they want," said Jeff Bradley, SVP, Devices, AT&T Mobility. "Consumers want the best and fastest devices while being able to make an empowered choice about environmental impacts of the device. Our eco-ratings accomplish just that."Continue reading...