Welcome to Added Value’s newsletter focused on Sustainable marketing; the challenges, opportunities, our solutions and points of view. The conversation around climate change and the environment continues to ‘heat up” in the US as Obama nominates 2 figures for environment- related cabinet posts (The Environmental Protection Agency and the Energy Department). The former has taken strong positions for the regulation of greenhouse gases while the latter is pro-fracking. Both sides agree that the Obama picks are intended to make progress on the issues in the absence of congressional concensus. Senate confirmation is pending…

The UK’s emissions of climate-warming gases grew to nearly 5% in 2012 as cheap coal replaced gas in power stations. However, 2012 was a record year for renewable energy in Scotland, which produced enough electricity to power all of its homes.

As the Chinese contribution to global warming and local pollution grows, so too does its leaders’ commitment to tackle the country’s environmental crisis in the face of public outcry. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has publically pledged to reduce air pollution and make water supplies safer. There is also talk from the Ministry of Finance of introducing a tax on carbon dioxide. Watch this space.

In the news
On the brand scene, Waitrose, the UK supermarket chain, has launched a national “grow and sell’ initiative, backed by gardener Alan Titchmarsh, to encourage 7 to 11 year-olds to eat more healthily. Participating primary schools will receive a kit which includes seeds, equipment and step-by-step growing instructions and they’ll then be encouraged to sell their home-grown produce outside local Waitrose branches in the summer.

On a more philanthropic note, Panera, an American chain of bakery cafes, is encouraging customer generosity. In an effort to give hungry people a place to eat with dignity, Panera Cares Community Cafe experiment encourages people to pay the suggested price, or even a little more, to cover free food given to those who can’t or don’t want to pay. The model is deemed to be successful, as the non-profit cafes earn 70-80% of the revenue earned by standard for-profit ones.

And out of the darkness…Philips has announced a new range of sustainable lighting solutions for people without access to electricity. Products like the Uday Mini Solar and 5W Home System provide cost effective lighting and mobile phone charging to places where currently there is no reliable source of energy.

Surpassing expectations
Electric-car maker Tesla said it anticipates a first-quarter profit following stronger-than-expected sales of its Model S sedan (more than 4750 units were sold in the quarter), sending its shares soaring more than 19%.

Procter and Gamble recently announced that it has reached a new zero-waste milestone with 48 zero-waste factories, or 25% of all their manufacturing centers worldwide. Another 20 or so sites are also on the cusp of being qualified as zero waste. P&G accomplished this goal in part by finding crossed uses for the bi-products of its production processes: paper sludge waste from a Charmin toilet tissue plant in Mexico is sold to a local company for roofing material while a Pampers factory in the United States sells their scrap filler from diapers and wipes as upholstery filling.

Spotlight on a new kind of Soda war
Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed ban on big sugary beverages may have recently been overturned, but not before spilling a lot of real and virtual ink. Soda is under attack from all sides: its high sugar content is increasingly being linked to obesity in children while its plastic bottles explode on TV during NFL Superbowl halftime.
Leslie Pascaud, our Global Thought Leader on Sustainable brands asks: Could soft drinks be heading for the same pariah status as tobacco? Read More…

Eco Innovations
Never ending eco showers; hot drink coasters doubling as mobile phone chargers; odor absorbing sports bras made from.coffee grounds; a hospital’s double skin that filters Air Pollution and a platform which uses Facebook to help light up the world. Take a look…

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To read issue 33, click here.

Image source: Added Value

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