August 9, 2019


How To Build a Better - More Sustainable!  - Brand ...  Advice From an Adweek Commentator

We seem to love our “top 10” [etc.] lists; these are typically eye-catching headlines for published news and commentaries about certain subjects. (As in: the 10 things you need to know about…).  In Adweek, the authoritative news and insights publication for brand marketers over the past four decades, we learn about “the five truths needed to create a sustainable brand”.  This is from a commentary by columnist Bruce Mau (he’s a prominent designer, co-founder of Massive Change Network and Visiting Professor at Pratt Institute).

The “mad scramble to make brands more sustainable is in full swing,” he advised his corporate marketing and advertising agency executives audience.  And many companies are still getting it wrong.  So what are the correct steps?  He suggests five – and explains the nature of each.

The first misconception to address (and change) is that a new, splashy product is not true sustainability, which comes about through a series of incremental improvements.  Think of a product that is recyclable and (then) what that may take to create, produce and market successfully (in the end, that benefits the society by addressing the challenge of too much waste still going to landfill).

Then, (another step) the lesson learned is usually that “you can’t do it alone” – society is facing an ecosystem of problems, and we all need help in addressing these.  No firm can address an industry’s issues all alone.  Collaboration is key; imagine when a client on the scale of a McDonald’s says it will be sustainable, what happens if every of its vendor follows suit.  (Wal-Mart has been the prime corporate / retailer example of this over recent years.)

As we here at G&A tell our corporate clients and the many corporate managers we speak to each week, sustainability is not a destination; it is a journey!  And the journey involves many people beyond those few taking the first steps…the crowd will grow as the journey ensues.

“Strategy” is a familiar word in the corporate world; it comes down to us from ancient Greece, deriving its meaning from the concept that this is the work of generalship – being a leader. Successful strategy comes from the top and begins with “clarity,” and understanding, author Bruce Mau tells us. Pursuit of sustainability should be a key strategy of the corporate enterprise.

Finally, today there is capacity to track the world’s energy and material flow and create metrics to enable those who manage brands to make better decisions and build “reasonable, actionable sustainability strategies”.  The impact that brands and brand marketers make can be better measured and managed.

Giving us – marketers and consumers and a range of stakeholders – a better way to track our progress (or lack thereof) to determine the impacts we are making on our planet and society.

There’s a small treasure of insights in author Mau’s Adweek commentary – our Top Story for you this week. 

Click here for more about Bruce Mau and his “Massive Change Network.

Please let us know how we’re doing with our selection of news, research and commentary that we present in our Highlights!

This Week's Top Story

The 5 Truths Needed to Create a Sustainable Brand
Source: Adweek - The mad scramble to make brands more sustainable is in full swing. And while companies are right to tackle this issue, the truth is that quite a few of them are still getting it wrong. That’s because there are still a few glaring... 

Sustainability Standards Setters & Policy Makers

The COSO Internal Control Framework and Sustainability Reporting
Source: CPA Journal - Even as corporate reporting of sustainability information continues to gain in popularity, the practice still is not standardized, either domestically or globally. While not a sustainability reporting framework per se...

The U.S. Congress just held its first hearing on ESG issues. What's next?
Source: GreenBiz - The first congressional hearing on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues in the United States took place in mid-July. The hearing, "Building a Sustainable and Competitive Economy: An Examination of Proposals to...

ESG / Sustainable & Responsible Investment

“Green” Bonds – Sustainable Finance
Can Sustainable Bonds Save the World?
Source: Kiplinger 

Municipal Bonds: A Holistic View Of A Community's Environment And Sustainability
Source: Forbes 

A New ‘Sustainability Bond’ Got 10 Times the Investor Interest It Needed
Source: Barron's 

Investor Engagement & Sustainable Investing
Source: Directors & Boards 

Opinion: Critics of ESG funds are wrong — sustainable investing delivers competitive returns
Source: MarketWatch 

Growing interest in sustainable investing
Source: Business Times 

Sustainable trackers – where two of the investing world's biggest trends collide  
Source: Hargreaves Lansdown 

Morgan Stanley launches new tool to let advisors, investors measure sustainable investing goals
Source: CNBC 

Corporate Sustainability / ESG

The economic case for ESG disclosure 
Source: Accounting Today 

No more cardboard boxes? 3M invents an ingenious new way to ship products
Source: Fast Company 

4 Things Brands Should Do For The Environment Instead Of Launching A New Sustainable Line
Source: Quartz

How To Make Your Business Financially Sustainable
Source: Forbes 

Sponsored Message

From the Agora - Consumers & Sustainability

Fashion brands ranked for toxic textiles and sustainability
Source: Inhabitat 

Plastics Or People? At Least 1 Of Them Has To Change To Clean Up Our Mess
Source: NPR 

More Americans Are Considering Buying an EV, According to New Survey

To ‘Future-Proof’ Business, Fashion Must Pivot Toward Sustainability
Source: Sourcing Journal 

Global Sustainability: Continuing Forward Momentum!

How We Use Our Biggest Events To Play An Important Role In Sustainability  
Source: Forbes 

When sustainability needs a two-way conversation
Source: GreenBiz 

Solar’s 20 most overlooked benefits for global sustainability
Source: PV Magazine 

Lessons From Two Cities' Sustainable Development Strategies
Source: Forbes 

Sustainability Data That Matter

XBRL Forms Refresh 
Source: FERC

How big data can boost agricultural growth
Source: Down To Earth

The Most Critical Sustainability Metric of the Year, and the Decade
Source: Sustainable Brands


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