Karma Marketing: Branding Like A Buddhist

Could the key to sustainable business be changing corporate mindsets from a culture of “more” – more revenue, more profit, more market share – to one of “enough”?

Bangkok-based brand strategist Sirikul Laukaikul argued that’s the case in a presentation about an idea called the “sufficiency economy philosophy” at Sustainable Brands in San Diego, California, this week.

The idea is for businesses […]

Fashion Brands Tackle Community Development

There are reams written about how far your food has traveled. And if you run in sustainability circles, you might have felt some guilt sneaking Chilean pears into your grocery cart this past winter. But have you ever thought about how far your clothing traveled to reach you? Some innovators in the space are trying to bring the locavore movement […]

How Agroforestry Can Increase Coffee Farms’ Resilience To Climate Change

What is at stake in global climate? How is it affecting coffee farmers?

Climate change materializes in extreme climatic events and storms. The harvests of small-scale coffee farmers are already directly affected by prolonged droughts and heavy rains. This happens more and more often, with major impacts on crops. Moreover, damages are increased when the ecosystem is already degraded: erosion, aridification, […]

Redefining “Sustainability” As More Rather than Less

Since its birth in 1987, for many, the term “sustainable development” has become synonymous with “less.”

“Sustainability” seemed to lock us into a static, zero-sum game of painful sacrifices. Facing finite or shrinking ecological limits, we felt forced to: ensure future food security only by inhibiting demands today; increase jobs and revenues only at the expense of wild nature; and restore […]

Consumers Urged to Challenge Sustainability Claims

Challenge the Label is a new simple yet informative tool that helps businesses who encounter sustainability labels to test the credibility of the claim.

Understanding the claims and promises behind sustainability labels means people can make purchasing choices that affect the issues that matter.

From ‘biodegradable’ to ‘carbon-neutral’, sustainability claims come in all shapes and sizes, but with over 400 ecolabels on […]

How Business Leaders Can Help Save the Planet

During my panel, I was asked some good questions on how business leaders can make a positive difference.

1. What does business sustainability mean for you?

It means being smart, creative and bold so you can pursue initiatives that improve both business results and environmental outcomes. Everyone in this audience can show the world how to do business while protecting nature in […]

Organic Agriculture Is More Profitable for Farmers

Organic agriculture alone may or may not be able to feed the world, but a recent study suggests that it can provide a relatively healthy paycheck for its practitioners.

David W. Crowder and John P. Reganold, two researchers at Washington State University, conducted a meta-analysis of studies on agricultural economics to learn whether organic farming is more profitable than conventional farming. […]

Bridging the Gap Between Health and Environmental Sustainability

The World Health Organization defines the environment, as it relates to health, as “all the physical, chemical, and biological factors external to a person, and all the related behaviors.” Our environment consists of the nature that surrounds us, the air we breathe, our access to clean water. However, as human beings spend increasingly more time indoors – whether at home or […]

Global Consumers Willing to Make Personal Sacrifices to Address Social and Environmental Issues

Global consumers feel a personal accountability to address social and environmental issues and look to companies as partners in progress, according to findings from the 2015 Cone Communications/Ebiquity Global CSR Study, released today. Near universal in their demands for companies to act responsibly, nine-in-10 consumers expect companies to do more than make a profit, but also operate responsibly to address […]

Out with The Sustainability Snobs

Sustainability’s emerging popularity has enthralled many young people, interested in dedicating their lives to work in the field, developing privileged understanding of the term’s meaning. The new wave of forward-thinking professionals possess sustainability knowledge, but they treat the knowledge like a special right granted only to a select few. Sustainability professionals, by and large, need to develop empathy to understand […]

Hawaiian Resort Serves Fresh Fare through Hydroponics

The Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa in Hawaii has all the amenities you would expect at a Hawaiian resort: a golf course, a pool, scenic ocean views. But there is also one amenity you wouldn’t expect— a hydroponic garden.

The garden, which was started through a collaboration between the resort and the University of Hawaii’s College of Tropical Agriculture, is […]

6 Urban Farms Revolutionizing Where Food Is Grown

Urban agriculture has really made a comeback in the U.S. in recent years. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization reports that 800 million people worldwide grow fruits or vegetables or raise animals in cities, producing an impressive 15 to 20 percent of the world’s food. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization notes that while many city dwellers in the developing […]

Apple Partnering with WWF on Chinese Forests

Apple is following through on its commitment to sustainability with a new partnership announced today between the company and the World Wildlife Fund. The deal will put the WWF in charge of managing as much as 1 million acres of forest in China as Apple works to achieve a net zero impact on the environment for all of the virgin […]

Two Keys to Sustainable Social Enterprise

Social entrepreneurship has emerged over the past several decades as a way to identify and bring about potentially transformative societal change. A hybrid of government intervention and pure business
entrepreneurship, social ventures can address problems that are too narrow in scope to spark legislative activism or to attract private capital.

To succeed, these ventures must adhere to both social goals and stiff […]

How Corporate Social Responsibility Is Moving From Optional To Mandatory

“Sustainability for a business today is not a nice-to-do thing,” said Arif Naqvi, founder and group chief executive of the Abraaj Group. “It’s a have-to-do thing. Naqvi, a key participant in the 2015 Oslo Business for Peace Summit and keynote speaker at the subsequent Business for Peace Award Ceremony, described a
new, urgent corporate pragmatism that goes beyond idealism or kind […]

New Social Media Platform Facilitates Consumer Citizenship

Silicon Valley start-up Scalechange has announced a suite of programs and services aimed at connecting socially conscious consumers with the causes they care about.

Scalechange, founded in 2014 provides digital marketing, crowdfunding and fund development services to mission-driven businesses such as B-Corps and nonprofits. In addition to providing services to the causes they care about, the team is creating innovative new […]

Steering Clear of The Sustainability Reporting Trap

Companies get stuck in box-checking when it comes to sustainability. But there is substantial value to be found in making sustainability a strategy.

Over the last few decades, the business world has had to face up to significant resource constraints beyond access to capital. This is being felt in the increasingly damaging effects of climate change and the diminishing availability of […]

Redefining Sustainability

Sustainability must be reframed as an opportunity if it is to take hold.

We’ve heard the word sustainability a lot lately. Climate change scientists warn countries and companies of the dangers of current levels of carbon emissions. Board directors are being called upon to be more transparent and punish bad behaviour. NGOs and social groups want companies to earn a licence […]

A Big-Hearted Man Manufacturing Tiny Houses for Oakland’s Homeless

To date, Kloehn has built 35 miniature homes for the homeless in Oakland and San Francisco. All construction materials (except for the wheels and a few other odds and ends), are sourced from garbage. He also runs workshops and gives lectures, teaching other artists and handypeople the tricks of the trade. Following his lead, other builders have made homes for […]