Chicken or Egg: Does Happiness Lead to Sustainable Lifestyles, or Vice Versa?

What better way to kick off Sustainable Brands ‘17 Copenhagen than to explore the personal motivations behind changing consumer behaviours in favour of society and planet? In a deep-dive, research-based roundtable session, Markus Terho and Sari Laine from the Finnish Innovation Fund (Sitra) presented the findings of a new, nationally representative survey of sustainability attitudes and everyday practices of people living and working in Finland.

How to Inspire Natural Resource Conservation at the Consumer Level

October is Campus Sustainability Month (CSM), an international celebration of sustainability in higher education. One focus of this year’s CSM is the conservation of water, a natural resource that humans need to survive. As it stands, one in ten people (663 million people — twice the population of the United States) are currently living without access to safe water. This water crisis stands in the way of the health, safety and economic empowerment of people in both developing countries and first-world nations. TerraCycle’sTom Szakywill discussThe ROI ofEliminating WasteatSB’17 Copenhagen Water is used to grow our food, generate energy and has other agricultural, industrial, household, recreational and environmental uses that require fresh water (a renewable but

What Difference Can Consumers Really Make to Improve Sustainability in Fashion?

“This conversation is great, but it’s too polite! Where is the sense of urgency in the room?” During our most recent event at Fashion for Good, themed Power to the Consumer, one woman called us out: “I’ve heard this conversation before, but nothing seems to change! What can we do?” Lady, we hear you! This

M&S’ Mike Barry: Balance of Science, Emotion Needed to Engage Consumers in Circular Models

For many retailers, circular thinking involves redefining products – and the raw materials contained within them – as assets that need to be kept in circulation for as long as possible. During each use phase, these assets may need to be reintroduced into different markets, requiring new customer relationships to be built. One business leader that recognises the scale of this challenge is Mike Barry, director of sustainable business at Marks & Spencer (M&S). He sees the retailer-consumer relationship profoundly changing in the next 10 years, as companies including his become more adept at offering products that can deliver a much richer customer experience. He points to asset tracking

FSC-Certified Products Nudging Consumers Into Walking Their Sustainability Talk

Good for your health, good for the environment, good for the future. These common themes have consumers embracing trends toward products that are responsibly sourced and manufactured. As with many things, consumers hold the key. And for products derived from the forest, the reality is no different. As hundreds of business leaders and environmental advocates descend

Unilever: Consumer Behavior Remains the Elusive Key to Sustainability

News Deeply, in partnership with Sustainable Brands, has produced a series of profiles looking at how brands are tackling some of the world’s biggest challenges. The goal is to examine trends and gather insights from a new wave of corporate citizenship – in an era when the private sector is increasingly expected to play a positive role in improving our lives and societies. This is the 13th article in the series. How

BillerudKorsnäs: Megacity Dwellers See Packaging as Crucial Solution for Sustainable Future

Packaging has widely been recognized as a pathway to a sustainable future, but opinions around the critical actions needed to deliver circular outcomes in urban areas, particularly megacities (a metropolitan area with a total population over 10 million people), such as management of recycling, littering, waste and support for sustainable behavior and education, largely differ. To bring clarity to the issue, Swedish sustainable packaging company BillerudKorsnäs has released the findings of its Consumer Panel 2017, a global study on packaging sustainability. The

NRDC Updates ‘Wasted’; Enlists Dan Barber, Alexa for Phase 2 of ‘Save the Food’ Campaign

The Natural Resources Defense Council and Ad Council today launched the second phase of their Save The Food national public service campaign, aimed at combatting America’s food waste problem from its largest source — consumers. In doing so, they seek to reduce the massive amount of money, water and energy that is wasted along with it. Along with phase two of Save The Food, which is raising consumer awareness and empowering people with the tools they need to waste less food and money, the groups are releasing an update to NRDC’s landmark Wasted report

MIT Climate CoLab Offering $10K for Solutions for Energy, Emissions, Shifting Climate Change Attitudes

While nearly every country in the world – along with many companies, cities, regions and other organizations – has outlined goals for addressing climate change, there is still much work to be done to create the detailed implementation plans to actually achieve these goals. In this spirit, MIT Climate CoLab, a global, web-based community designed to pool intelligence in a manner similar to Linux or Wikipedia, is launching seven new contests. Winners will be invited to MIT to share their work, and will become eligible for the $10,000 Grand Prize to be selected from among winners across all seven contests. Award winners and finalists will receive wide recognition and platform visibility

Why the Climate Movement Needs an Attitude Adjustment

How do we stop climate change? This is the question of our generation: If we can answer it, we can stop the worst from happening — megadroughts, famine, cities sunk beneath the sea, and more. We know where to start — we need massive policy changes, fast and at-scale deployment of renewable energy and carbon capture, a swift pivot away from fossil fuels, and even reduction of livestock. We have the technology and know-how to take these crucial first steps. So, what’s stopping us? The first major obstacle is pushback from vested stakeholders who feel threatened by reform for a

Trending: Pro-Ocean Orgs Use YouTube, Video Games, Fashion to Educate Consumers About Marine Plastics

Eight million tons of plastic trash find their way into the world’s oceans every year. If this trend continues, there could be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050 according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Considerable action is required to avoid this fate, but more and more organizations are beginning to step up to the plate. Creative campaigns that seek to engage consumers through multi-media and innovative products are proving to be an effective way to reach and educate wide audiences quickly, accelerating the uptake of behaviors and actions that could spur

Finally, Real Action from Big Banks on Deforestation

This month BNP Paribas, the world’s seventh-largest financial institution, announced a new palm oil policy that sets responsible palm oil production as a pre-condition for financing. The policy requires that companies receiving financing protect forests and indigenous people. It also requires companies to adhere to strict human rights and labor standards, end the use of hazardous pesticides, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, among other significant measures. This policy is a breakthrough in forest-friendly finance. For far too

State of Play: Why Organizations Still Rely on Games for Sustainability Education

From Coca-Cola’s “Happiness Arcade,� which helped make recycling fun for kids in Dhaka; to Heineken’s Brewing a Better World Digital Experience, a series of mini-games in which users “are faced with the challenge of balancing their will to compete with taking care of the world,� purpose-driven organizations have long used

Avery Dennison Teams Up with Fashion Revolution to Uncover New #Haulternatives

Seventy-five million people work directly in the fashion and textiles industry. Many are subject to exploitation; verbal and physical abuse, unsafe working conditions and poor pay. While some progress has been made since the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in 2013, which killed 1,138 people, there is still a lot to be done. Today marks the kickoff of Fashion Revolution Week 2017, a weeklong campaign that encourages people around the world to ask brands #whomademyclothes and demand greater transparency to help improve the working conditions and wages of the people who make our clothes. This year’s Fashion Revolution theme is ‘Money, Fashion, Power’ and will explore the flows of money and the structures of power across

Colgate Taps Michael Phelps to Inspire Consumers to Turn Off the Faucet

Water scarcity and shortage is a growing problem that affects around three billion people across the globe and climate change is only serving to aggravate the already acute issue. While businesses will play an important role in reducing environmental impacts for water resource depletion, changing consumer attitudes is critical in order to truly address and find solutions for the issue. Yet the many people are unaware of water scarcity issues, as well as their own consumption habits. In an effort to raise awareness for water conservation, Colgate has tapped Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps to be the

Hello Toothpaste Blows Whistle on Oral Care Market With New Transparency Campaign

With a growing number of consumers demanding transparency from brands about the products they use every day, companies are faced with a new world order — come clean or face extinction. Of course, baring it all is a lot easier when the items in question feature ingredients and materials that are responsibly sourced and safe. Such is the case for natural oral care company Hello, the latest personal care brand to get real about what goes into their products. The brand has launched a digital campaign dubbed An Inconvenient Tooth, an animated spot that gives consumers the low-down on the artificial (and often unpronounceable) ingredients in the oral care products lining their

Case Study: Closed Loop Fund Shows Iowa’s Scott County That Recycling Can Be Profitable

Less than one year after partnering with the Closed Loop Fund and investing $10.75 million in new infrastructure — including recycling carts and a newly upgraded country-owned and operated materials recycling facility (MRF) — Iowa’s Scott County has seen a 61 percent increase in recycling and generated $100,000 in savings and revenue. The Closed Loop Fund financed the acquisition of over 48,500 single stream household recycling in the Quad Cities communities of Scott County. The Scott County Recycling Program provides a model of how

Report Finds Link Between Improved Health, Access to Nature

Obesity, mental health problems, air and noise pollution, heat stress and social exclusion — these are just a few of the health and social challenges Europeans face today. But according to a new report released by Friends of the Earth in conjunction with the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP), increased exposure to nature and green space could help improve both physical and mental health. An analysis of more than 200 academic

Unchecked Consumption Is the Elephant in the Boardroom

Many businesses measure growth by selling more stuff to more people, and consumer markets are expected to expand in the decades ahead. The world is on pace to exceed 9.5 billion people by 2050, with far fewer living in poverty than today. Thanks to the rapid industrialization of developing countries including China, Brazil and India, 3 billion peopleare projected to join the global middle

New Campaign from Outerknown Aims to Remind Us #ITSNOTOK to Pollute the Oceans

This week, sustainable menswear brand Outerknown launched #ITSNOTOK, an evergreen giveback program designed to bring awareness to environmental issues – particularly the declining health of our oceans, mostly due to pollution – all over the world. #ITSNOTOK is a call to action to consumers to become part of the solution, rather than the problem, by helping to clean up the oceans. Outerknown – which incorporates ECONYL yarn, made from reclaimed fishing nets and other nylon waste materials collected from the ocean, in many of its products – will donate 100 percent of the profits from the

Oslo Takes Inclusive Approach to Sustainability with New E-Bike Grant

Government-led initiatives designed to cut carbon emissions and reduce air pollution in cities, though well-intentioned, often come under fire from those who stand the most to gain from them — the public. Clean air is a high priority for government and citizens alike, but the burden of measures such as carbon taxes on vehicles that don’t meet certain environmental criteria often penalize citizens who commute and don’t have the resources to expend on the purchase of a less-polluting hybrid or electric vehicle — or inner city rent. Like many other cities across Europe and the UK — including London, who surpassed its annual

Sky’s #OceanRescue Campaign Aiming to Put an End to Ocean Plastic Pollution

Marine plastics pose a serious problem for both marine ecosystems and human health. In fact, with between 4.8 million and 12.7 million tons of plastic ending up in the world’s oceans every year, it could be considered one of the most dangerous environmental catastrophes the world currently faces. Broadcasting company Sky is mobilizing its resources to increase awareness of the issue with a new Ocean

7 Ways to Advance Purpose in a Turbulent World

The question is no longer if an organization will engage with society, it’s how. Yet, from Brexit to Trump to Black Lives Matter, how is now harder than ever before. So, throughout the year, we will illuminate the “how� for business and societal impact. We started by asking the Purpose Collaborative – North America’s largest community of purpose, corporate responsibility, and sustainability experts: “What key recommendations would you share with clients to accelerate the impact of their work in 2017?� Their wisdom follows. Be Brave “If brands want this new generation of imposing consumers