Increased Competitiveness Revealed by the Sustainability Leaders Survey

The results of a recent sustainability poll, indicate that Unilever, Patagonia, and IKEA are the world's top sustainability leaders. According to the 2019 GlobeScan* / SustainAbility** Leaders Survey these are the most recognized sustainability leaders on the planet. The survey conducted in partnership with Sustainable Brands*** found that  Patagonia and IKEA have made substantial gains, narrowing the gap between themselves and first place finisher Unilever. The survey asked over 800 experts and stakeholders from 78 countries to name companies that they see as being leaders in integrating sustainability into their business strategy. Although the survey has been published for a...

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IKEA’s Journey from Laggard to Environmental Leader

Few companies chew up resources and generate more waste than the IKEA Group. However, the world's largest furniture retailer has made tremendous strides that have enabled the global brand to emerge as a leading sustainability-focused company. Apple may have an enormous customer base, but it is dwarfed by the IKEA. With approximately one billion people served the Dutch company of Swedish origin has almost almost twice as many customers as the tech giant. IKEA recently pledged to make all of the 12,000 products they sell from renewable and recyclable materials by 2030. They have also adopted science-based emission reduction targets...

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How Apple Transitioned from Corporate Luddite to Environmental Leader

Companies are showing that change is both possible and profitable. As we stare down the barrel of a dark future companies are acknowledging the emergence of a new reality that forces them to change the way they do business. Embracing sustainability makes sense even for those who were slow off the mark. Apple proves that it is possible to transition from a climate Luddite to a climate leader. Leading corporations are helping to show the way forward and no company has come further in recent years than Apple. The tech leader has not always been an environmental leader. That changed...

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Sustainability Pioneers that have Earned a Place in History

Sustainability leaders have earned respectability over the years. Now that sustainability is becoming a mainstream phenomenon, they are gradually being recognized for their contributions. Many of the sustainability pioneers will be venerated by future generations. The word is derived from peonier, an Old French word for foot soldier. These pioneering men and women have broken ground, laid the foundation and cut a path that others can follow. A few names stand out for their audacity and the scope of their visions. The search firm Weinreb Group polled 100 sustainability experts to create a list of six leading sustainability pioneers. These...

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8 Factors Driving Corporate Activism

Value systems drive activism and these efforts are increasingly intersecting with corporate self interest.  Companies have a vested interest in combating consumer skepticism. They know they cannot ignore consumers' distrust nor can they avoid the growing demand that businesses act in an ethical manner. Apart from the inherent value of doing the right thing, there are powerful incentives and disincentives that are driving corporate activism. Here are eight reasons why companies are feeling compelled to act. 1. BOTTOM LINE BENEFITS It pays for business to be ethical. Companies like Patagonia have demonstrated how ethical conduct enhances their reputation, reinforces customer...

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Corporate Activism Targeting Trump will Increase in 2019

Corporate America has challenged Trump's leadership and they will engage in unprecedented levels of climate advocacy in 2019.   They will speak out against Trump's presidency because they realize that they have no choice, silence is no longer an option. Standing up to Trump is now synonymous with protecting their brands. As explained in The Conversation: "Staying out of politics is no longer an option for the corporate world, even if its tactics can sometimes clash with strategies to optimise profits." Corporate resistance to Trump is not new, however, it is intensifying. CEOs from companies like Tesla, Patagonia, Starbucks, General Motors,...

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Corporate Activism and the End of Silence

Corporate activism is growing and ushering in a new era. Never before have corporations been more involved in activism or felt more compelled to engage. What corporate leaders say or don't say can have profound consequences for their personal reputations and the reputation of the brands they lead. Businesses are standing up for environmental issues, LGBTQ rights, immigration policies, sexual harassment, gun safety and climate action. As they come to the realization that ethics are as important as cost and quality, businesses are doing more than just leveraging issues to sell their products and services. They are engaging in brand...

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Corporate Activism in the 2018 Midterm Elections and Beyond

Companies are increasingly departing from their traditional apolitical stances and the 2018 midterm election in the United States was no exception. While many companies encouraged their employees to vote, others extended this message to their partners and the general public. Some companies wore their social conscience on their sleeves while others actively endorsed environmentally concerned candidates. Many are disgusted with the president's hate speech and his penchant for sewing division. Some resist Trump because of his trade policies and specifically his tariffs which have been devastating in some sectors, while others decry his hard-line immigration policy or support for the...

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Sustainability Leaders’ Spartacus Moment

Pundits warn that corporate leaders undermine their brand reputations by commenting on the conduct of Donald Trump. Despite these warnings some of the world's most successful corporations are opposing the commander and chief and rebuffing the leadership in Washington. With the nation teetering on the cusp of a constitutional crisis, CEOs have a vested interest in countering the malfeasance in Washington. This is not just a PR stunt, nor is this solely a matter of conscience. Some are motivated by genuine concern about the well-being of the republic. Waves of resignations from the CEOs of America's leading corporations forced Trump...

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The Energy Efficiency Opportunity and the Case for Government Leadership

Governments around the world are supporting energy efficiency because it buoys economic development and drives innovation.. There is a strong business case for energy efficiency which is why it is at the leading edge of a tremendous opportunity.  According to the IEA, in 2016 global investments in energy efficiency grew by almost 10 percent to $231 billion. There is a powerfully persuasive argument in support of energy efficiency as it offers the dual benefits of decreasing costs and reducing climate change causing greenhouse gases (GHGs). The economic opportunities and savings associated with energy efficiency are considerable. Those who still need...

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