Mountain Khakis Partners with Fair Trade USA on Responsible Manufacturing Program

Mountain Khakis, a leading mountain-inspired lifestyle apparel brand, announces today that it will offer Fair Trade Certified™ apparel beginning with its Spring 2016 collections for men and women.

Mountain Khakis joins an elite group of outdoor and apparel brands partnering with Fair Trade USA, including Patagonia® and PrAna®.  The partnership gives workers a voice, and ensures rigorous standards that improve worker […]

A Seven Step Guide To “Net Positive”

Net positive is far more transformative and ambitious than corporate social responsibility.

It’s not just about reducing impacts here and there, rather it requires a systems-based approach and the involvement of the entire business.
1. Net positive is about giving more than you take
2. Boundaries are important
3. It isn’t just repackaged CSR
It also allows businesses to engage employees and customers with a […]

Chipotle Helps Refugees Replant Their Roots

Chipotle, primarily known for its Food with Integrity campaign, has been a quiet supporter of refugees who are creating new roots in the U.S. For the past few years, the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation has provided grants to support the International Rescue Committee’s (IRC) New Roots Program, and is currently in the midst of a two-year commitment to finance the program’s […]

Who’d A Thunk Ben & Jerry’s Could Save the World through Ice Cream?

41 percent of Ben & Jerry’s carbon footprint came from cows.

Here’s the breakdown of the culprits, which CoClear shared at this year’s Sustainable Brands conference:

Growing and producing ingredients: 54 percent (aka, mostly cows)
Transporting ice cream from the plant to the distribution centers: 14 percent
Freezing product at the stores: 10 percent
All packaging throughout the production process: 10 percent
Factory operation: 7 percent

Ben […]

Five Ways to Embed Sustainability into The Core of Your Company

The process begins in house, and it starts by weaving sustainability into a corporation’s core values. At Tetra Pak, communication is the key ingredient for translating environmental sustainability into actionable business imperatives.  This involves aligning strategic agendas and key priorities across all functions while building momentum for change through information, understanding and engagement.

The approach aims to develop sustainability champions–employees who […]

5 Steps To Create Meaning and Purpose At Your Company

Often I hear people say, “Oh, I wish I did something meaningful like you do, helping the world.” Working in philanthropy is a wonderful way to serve.

But social workers, teachers or philanthropists don’t corner the market on meaning. If you want to create meaning and a core purpose at your company, here are the top five inspiring — and practical […]

Lego Saying ‘No’ To Plastic, Invests Millions Into Search For ‘Sustainable’ Material

The toy company announced this week that it plans to invest 1 billion Danish Krone (or about $150 million) over the next 15 years in a program to develop new “sustainable” materials which will eventually replace the plastic currently used to make its iconic building blocks. Lego also plans to make its packaging more environmentally-friendly.

The move is a testament to […]

Is Consumer Demand Changing The Fast Food Landscape?

In the past few years, consumer advocacy groups and online petitions peddling various causes have brought the fast food industry to its knees. Is the conscious consumer forcing corporations to turn over a new leaf?

“The Internet has brought a massive explosion of transparency, a lot more access to information about what we’re eating, our supply chains and production. We can […]

Skills Gap: 80% of Small Businesses Can’t Find Qualified Staff

While no business is immune from these hiring difficulties, small companies often find the mismatch between openings and applicants especially troublesome. Across industries, therefore, many of these enterprises are tackling the problem by finding creative ways to approach recruiting, hiring and training. At the same time, collaborations between business, government, and community groups are helping to lay the groundwork for […]

Four Multinationals Shifting Their Business Models for Sustainability

Although NRG’s portfolio still includes 30% coal-generated power, it is repositioning itself and its business model to guide energy users from a grid-based power system to a distributed generation system. It’s also developing products and services related to electric vehicles, rooftop solar and home energy efficiency.

As business leaders begin to see themselves as part of a larger system that is […]

Three Sustainability Trends That Have Companies on Their Toes

As a hospitality company that happens to have wings, customer expectations lead to our constant innovation. Listening to hundreds of other sustainability-focused leaders gathered at the 2015 Sustainable Brands Conference, some exciting trends are emerging. Here are my predictions about what we will see more of on the sustainability front:

Be bold, disrupt, innovate and start a revolution  […]

Wal-Mart Tapped Charity Critics Complain

A collection of labor and community groups filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service accusing Wal-Mart Stores Inc’s charitable foundation of violating its tax exempt status by using donations in an attempt to facilitate store openings in urban areas.

In the complaint, dated Monday and addressed to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, the group claims the Walmart Foundation made donations to […]

10 Socially-Responsible Ways To Make Your Business More Profitable

The trend towards social responsibility in the workplace is driving many successful businesses to rethink their processes and products to ensure they are as ethical and sustainable as possible.

One business leading the way in this sector is Patagonia. The adventure wear retailer has been exploring new ways to build a more responsible supply chain for more than 25 years.

Jill Dumain, […]

Leading U.S. Nutrition Scientists Forge Cozy Relationships with Major Lobbying Groups

A new report charges that America’s leading group of nutrition scientists regularly accepts money from major food companies such as McDonald’s, PepsiCo, Nestlé, Coca-Cola and lobbying groups including the Sugar Association – despite the fact that many of the companies’ products have little to no nutritional value. The report suggests conflicts of interest have caused scientists to soften public policy […]

Recognising Sustainability in The Foodservice Sector

From food miles to food waste, the out of home foodservice sector has a myriad of sustainability challenges to contend with at every stage in the supply chain, starting from the way in which ingredients are grown or sourced, right through to the way that produce is served to customers or packaged for takeaway, and how the inevitable waste is […]

Beyond Shared Value: Character as Corporate Destiny

Corporate stewardship—an expanded sense of caring for people, communities, the environment, and future generations—is increasingly recognized around the world as a principle of enlightened business. We can no longer view corporations as isolated and independent entities, free to do whatever their owners and managers decide. They have a dual role: to deliver a superior return to their shareholders, and to […]

IKEA Vows to Slow Climate Change

In a Reuters interview, IKEA’s Chief Executive Peter Agnefjall, outlined a plan that fits with IKEA’s commitments. Without putting the cost burden on its customers, IKEA is pledging to invest 600 million euros in wind and solar power, adding to 1.5 billion invested since 2009 as part of a goal of making it energy independent.

The charitable arm of the family-owned […]

Whole Foods: New Chain To Be Named for ‘365’ Store Brand

The new chain, which is slated to begin opening next year, comes as Whole Foods seeks to differentiate itself amid intensifying competition. The company, which has more than 400 Whole Foods stores, has seen its sales growth slow as organic and natural products have become more widely available at mainstream supermarket chains and big-box retailers.

The new chain may also be […]

Ethical Brand Showdown: Patagonia vs. Columbia

In this week’s “Brand Face-Off,” we compare Columbia versus Patagonia.

People today are not just choosing the best, the fanciest, or the cheapest brand. They’re selecting to support brands that have the right meaning. That’s why we’re taking a deeper dive into two well known sportswear brands: Patagonia vs Columbia.

First, let’s ask the question: if you were to buy a polar […]

Do Values Matter As A Marketing Differentiator?

A company’s core values, or beliefs, have traditionally been used as an internal framework to drive actions through guiding principles.


These core values—sometimes specifically named, other times buried within a paragraph-long, everything-plus-the-kitchen-sink mission statement—provide a lodestar for the training of new employees, for daily interactions with suppliers, as well as for strategic, far-reaching boardroom decisions.

What’s interesting is the discussion of values […]