Branding for Good - Issue 37

27 Mar 2014|Added Value

Climate Change is back on the Radar
Whether or not recent freak weather events are the result of global warming, they are bringing the issues related to climate change into the spotlight. In recognition of “one of the most serious and complex challenges facing humankind”, this year’s World Economic Forum session devoted 23 sessions to global warming.

With drought in the West and heavy snowfall in the East, climate change has shot back onto the American political radar. In Washington, Obama’s initiatives to address climate change ‘with or without congress,’ are leading his administration into turbulent water. President Obama has asked congress for a $1billion ‘climate resilience fund’. At the same time, he is seeking to side-step them to try to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. This has led the Supreme Court to question whether the President has overstepped his executive authority.

China’s toxic air pollution is now impeding photosynthesis and potentially wreaking havoc on the country’s agricultural production and food supply, experts warn. Beijing’s concentration of small toxic particles which penetrate deep into the lungs and enter the bloodstream recently hit 505 micrograms per cubic meter, more than 20 times the level deemed safe by the World Health Organization. The Chinese government has repeatedly promised to address its pollution problem; Beijing introduced a system of emergency measures back in October, but enforcement remains patchy.

Australia’s lengthy droughts are expected to lead to a 25% drop in crop production this summer. In particular, cotton production will be affected, for which Australia is the third biggest exporter globally. Despite this reality, Prime Minister Tony Abbott aims to cut the country’s carbon tax in July. The environmental minister called the tax ineffective, although results of a Department of Environment report suggests otherwise.

3D Printing – Creative Disruption or Dystopia?
3D Printing was declared one of the top five trends at CES back in January and since then, the internet has been abuzz with its myriad of potential uses. Chatter has raged about how it will transform a huge variety of manufacturing processes, affecting everything from our underwear, to the type of food we eat, the organs we donate and even our plans for inhabiting Mars one day. Click here to read Claire Carmichael’s take on the subject.

Purpose Driven Brands
Detoxifying fashion
From the catwalk to the high street, fashion labels are beginning to remove potentially toxic chemicals from their production lines. In response to allegations from Greenpeace’s Detox campaign, which highlighted the presence of harmful substances contained in some of children’s clothing, Burberry and Primark have pledged to remove all hazardous chemicals from their global supply chain by 2020.

Purpose-led brands fund their successors
Patagonia and Tom’s are both successful brands anchored in purpose and encouraging imitation. Last year, Patagonia developed a fund – $20 million & Change – which invests in startups working to find sustainable solutions in clothing, food, water, energy and waste. More recently, Toms has opened up an online marketplace to enable socially responsible companies to sell their wares.

CVS quits smoking in the name of health
In early February CVS made international headlines after they announced that they would stop selling cigarettes in their 7600 US stores (effective October 2014). They will be taking a substantial hit: $2 billion in profits/year, in order to ‘reinvent pharmacy to help people on their path to better health’. Read Added Value’s thought piece here.

Exploding cows? Chipotle pokes fun at the food industry
To bring the issues which surround the food and agricultural industry in America to a mainstream audience, Chipotle Mexican Grill has created a four-episode comedy series. The satirical branded content piece, titled “Farmed and Dangerous” satirically attacks food company practices while subtly reasserting the brand’s ethical positioning.

Eco Innovations
Eco-friendly jeans made out of marine pollution, a rechargeable battery inspired by the seeds of a legendary fruit, an App doing good while we sleep, three water creation devices developed by the army, and food waste being converted into fertilizer in just three hours. Click here to read more…

Contact us
We’ll be back in the Spring with more sustainable marketing points of view. And if you’d like to get in touch with us, please email

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