A blog focused on sustainable business issues and challenges

Archive for October, 2010

Consumers Consider Home Depot Most Sustainable US Brand

October 29, 2010 | No Comments →

Which brands do consumers think are the most sustainable?

For the second year in a row, Havas Media and MPG have tracked down the answer to that question, and their newly released report gives us intriguing insights into the challenges brands are facing in the current economic landscape.

For example, results from the 2010 “Brand Sustainable Futures” survey show a strong correlation between a brand’s ”meaningfulness” and its perceived sustainable performance. Does that mean, as the report suggests, that the more sustainable the brand is perceived to be, the more meaningful it becomes to consumers? Or is it the other way around –the more meaningful a brand, the greater the perception of sustainability?

Like so many other dimensions of consumer behavior, perceptions of sustainability are notoriously complex and often foggy. Complicating the issue even more, the survey also found that only a measly one third of brands are considered “meaningful” by consumers.

Here are a few additional findings that caught my eye: (more…)

Newsweek Crowns Dell the Greenest Company in America 2010

October 27, 2010 | No Comments →

Dell has topped Newsweek’s Greenest Companies in America ranking for 2010.

The company was specifically recognized for its efforts to

  • incorporate sustainability into its supply chain and operations,
  • make ‘being green’ easy and cost-effective for customers, and

For example, Dell’s recycling programs have diverted more than 484 million pounds of equipment from landfills since 2006, and its bamboo packaging provides customers a strong, rapidly renewable packaging alternative that can be composted for easy disposal.

“Dell’s focus on environmental stewardship and sustainability helps us to be a more responsible partner to our customers,” Michael Dell, chairman and CEO, said. “The efficiencies we can all achieve through the use of greener products, solutions, services and programs should be an integral part of every corporate culture. This ranking is the result of a long-standing commitment that remains at the heart of Dell and the work we do in service of our customers.”

The Newsweek Green Rankings grade America’s 500 largest publicly-traded companies, as measured by revenue, market capitalization and number of employees, on their environmental performance, policies and reputation as environmentally responsible companies. Newsweek partnered with three independent organizations to assemble a ‘green score’ for each company. That score is based on three components: (more…)

Avon Joins GFTN to Promote Responsible Forestry

October 25, 2010 | No Comments →

Avon, the global company known for its beauty and fashion products, also happens to be one of the largest catalogue producers and paper consumers in the world. Fortunately, the company recently strengthened its commitment to sustainability by joining more than 270 companies in the Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN) in North America.

GFTN is a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) initiative to eliminate illegal logging and save the world’s most valuable and threatened forests. Members of GFTN make commitments to: (more…)

Walmart Ups Commitment to Sustainable Agriculture

October 22, 2010 | No Comments →

It seems that Walmart is basking in the sustainability limelight these days.

Earlier this month, the retail giant unveiled an innovative closed loop initiative that uses the company’s own recycled waste materials to produce new products. 

Now, Walmart has announced a renewed global commitment to sustainable agriculture. The company says this new initiative will:

  • help small and medium sized farmers expand their businesses, get more income for their products, and reduce the environmental impact of farming,
  • strengthen local economies, and
  • provide customers around the world with long-term access to affordable, high-quality, fresh food.

Among a variety of ambitious goals, Walmart is pledging to (more…)

Staples Introduces Supplier Scorecards Focused on Sustainability

October 20, 2010 | No Comments →

Staples wants to drive sustainability innovation in product manufacturing, packaging and distribution –and the company has challenged its key suppliers with a competition designed to spur action towards these goals.

Staples’ new “Race to the Top” sustainability challenge calls on suppliers to compete not only in terms of product quality, cost and features, but also in finding eco-friendly solutions for product manufacturing, packaging, and distribution. The company says that ultimately, the strategy aims to increase environmental, economic and social sustainability and remove waste and inefficiency of all types.

Similar to initiatives already in use at P&G and Walmart, Staples’ Race to the Top strategy includes collaboratively developing sustainability scorecards for products and packaging. These scorecards, which will specifically track design innovations and environmental attributes, are designed to drive more accountability throughout the supply chain. According to Staples, the supplier scorecard designations will increasingly be scientifically-based and focused on the sustainability attributes that matter most for particular types of products. (more…)