Welcome to Issue 23 of Branding for Good, Added Value’s newsletter focused exclusively on sustainable marketing; the challenges, opportunities, our solutions and points of view.

As the global economy gradually emerges from stagnation, we’ve noticed a flurry of sustainable brand activity.  Climate change still sits in top place on the agenda, but more companies are starting to embrace the ‘trilemma’ of environmental, economic and social sustainability.

Marks & Spencer have launched the next phase of Plan A with a commitment to become the world’s most sustainable retailer. Half of their own-brand products will carry at least one sustainable or ethical quality mark by 2015, with all converted by 2020. Across the waters, Walmart continue their drive for a more sustainable global supply chain and Safeway joins the Sustainability Consortium initiative (funded by Walmart). Ben & Jerry’s long standing relationship with Fairtrade is well known but their latest announcement is impressive. Coinciding with Fairtrade Fortnight, they will convert their entire range, from Phish Food to Cherry Garcia, to Fairtrade by the end of 2011 in Europe and globally by the end of 2013. And online: eBay acquire World of Good and launch Green.eBay.com with a commitment to preserve one acre of rainforest for the first 250,000 users who pledge to reuse on eBay.

Sustainable fashion is also in the spotlight. Levi’s blue jeans are turning greener. The iconic brand is convinced sustainability is the future of fashion and used London Fashion Week to call for collaboration across the industry. And Gap launched this week, the COTTON FROM BLUE TO GREEN.® denim drive. Consumers can donate their old denim to be recycled as UltraTouch™ Natural Cotton Fiber Insulation which is then donated to communities in need.  The Pepsi Refresh Everything campaign employs similar community involvement to embrace ‘doing good’.

Social Sustainability

What does it mean to be a sustainable business when your “product” is ideas? For Added Value, we believe it involves helping our clients develop successful sustainable strategies. What we call Branding for Good. But it also means looking at how we make a positive contribution to communities globally. We are proud to be involved in fundraising efforts for UNICEF. One such project in Malawi allowed our global CEO, Janine Hawkins to get personally involved.  Read Janine’s blog.

UNICEF has field operations in 150 countries, a long and successful track record of scaling up life-saving children’s programs and a trusted global brand. Therefore you’d think that UNICEF has also been successful at fully monetizing its reputation through partnerships with the private sector. That would be an honest mistake. Rajesh Anandan, Vice President, Corporate and Foundation Partnerships, UNICEF U.S.A, tells us how they are closing the half billion dollar gap.

Eco Innovations

Electric Porsche, recycled Olympics, energy-storing footballs and an App for climate sceptics. Check out our pick of the latest from around the world. Take a look

The BFG Team are excited about sustainable change this year. So don’t forget to switch off those lights for Earth Hour 2010 –Saturday 27th March @ 8:30pm and pledge your support for WWF.

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