What’s the Big Idea?

What’s the Big Idea?

Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan. Marks & Spencer’s Plan A. GE’s ecomaginationNike Better World.

Feel like you can’t turn around without bumping into a big, brassy, branded, corporate sustainability program these days? Or at least a product campaign (think Nissan Leaf) that seeks to cast a green and otherwise sustainable hue over an organization? It seems we have entered the age of the Big (Sustainable) Idea, an epoch in which performance as well as leadership and influence are limited without membership in this club.

SustainAbility has been watching and assessing sustainability branding and leadership trends for years. Clients often ask how important such initiatives are to their performance potential. Does the Big Idea have impact? And is it positive? Sigue leyendo

Are product sustainability programs at a tipping point?

Are product sustainability programs at a tipping point?

Over the last few months I’ve had a chance to speak to a large number of senior business, EH&S and sustainability leaders at a variety of Fortune 500 ERM clients about product sustainability and what it means to their organizations. What resonated in these conversations is that designing and implementing product sustainability programs at an enterprise level is now a strategic imperative for many companies. This was a consistent theme across many different market sectors and was being driven by the belief that a product sustainability program could create significant business value for their organizations. Sigue leyendo

Beer industry raises a glass towards cutting water consumption

Beer industry raises a glass towards cutting water consumption

Next time you down a beer, think about this: it took a lot of water to create that brew sitting in front of you.

According to a 2010 study by the SABMillerbrewing company,  the World Wildlife Federationand the German international development agency GIZ, up to 60 to 180 liters of water can be used to produce one liter of beer. Those figures cover the entire process — from crop cultivation through the brewing process to packaging and, finally, to your thirsty self. The amount of water consumed depends on how it’s used along the supply chain. Sigue leyendo