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Corporate Social Responsibility

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4 Way to Avoid Greenwashing Your Eco Friendly Brand

In a marketplace where customers put a lot of thought and effort into buying eco friendly and mission-driven products, being accused of Greenwashing can put a permanent stain onto an otherwise spotless reputation.

“Greenwashing” is the practice of creating false or misleading marketing in order to promote a product as being more eco friendly than it actually is. Not a day goes by without a new article or blog post about a brand greenwashing its products to increase their bottom line.

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Rewarding Your Fans for an Eco-Friendly Pledge

Earlier this month Coca Cola asked its UK customers to take a pledge to reuse or recycle their soda bottles and cans. The brand launched the “Don’t Waste. Create.” website, sharing ideas for how customers could reuse and repurpose Coke bottles instead of throwing them away.

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McDonald’s French Fries: Transparency Gone Bad?

Last spring, McDonald’s restaurants launched a campaign aimed at being more open, honest and transparent with its customers. Included in this campaign are “Our Food, Your Questions” videos on the brand’s YouTube channel. In these videos, the company answers questions submitted by its customers via social media. While the videos have been around for over a year, an 8-month-old video discussing McDonald’s french fries has recently sparked outrage among healthy eating advocates online.

The video in question highlights McDonald’s french fry recipe. The recipe contains 17 ingredients, including preservatives, artificial colors and genetically modified oils. This has prompted many advocates to speak out against McDonald’s promoting petitions and boycotts, while others simply ask, “What ever happened to ‘potatoes, oil and salt’?” (Video After The Jump) 

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Top 5 Reasons Eco Friendly Companies Fail at Green Marketing

Over the past several years, consumers around the globe have begun to make an effort to act and shop in a more environmentally friendly manner. At the same time, we’ve seen companies respond with new products and offers to entice these conscious consumers.

“Green” and “Eco Friendly” marketing campaigns seem to dominate media. Multinational companies are touting their green efforts while small start-ups are producing everything from recycled clothing to solar-powered cellphone batteries. With all the hype around “going green” its easy to launch now and ask question later. That means we are seeing more and more companies fail at green marketing.

Here are our top 5 reasons why Eco Friendly Companies Fail at Green Marketing, and what they should have done instead:

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What I Wish I Had Done in College: Get Involved in Sustainability

Now that I’m a college graduate, I can take a moment to look back and think about the things I wish I had done during my time there . More and more, one thing stands out: I wish I had gotten involved in sustainability sooner.

When starting college as a freshman at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, anything to do with sustainability was far from my mind. My dad tried to convince me that a major in biology or environmental studies was a smart idea due to the increasing focus on global warming. I promptly ignored him (typical of my 18 year old self), telling him that I had no interest in the topic. I went on to double major in marketing and dance, and even managed to avoid all science classes until the summer after my junior year. Recently though, two experiences have made me rethink my earlier phobia to science and sustainability.

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4 Ways to Balance Mission and Sales

One of the most common questions we receive from clients is how can they can balance their social or environmental mission with their desire to profit. It’s a good question, because in many instances the more they sell, the more impact they can have. Below are our four ways we have seen work that can both promote a socially responsible business’s mission while also moving product.

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5 Ways to Avoid CSR Disasters

1) Choose a Cause Close to Home

When choosing a cause to support it may feel like the best plan of action is to jump onto the trendy cause of the day and ride major press coverage of the issue to CSR glory. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. True CSR isn’t about jumping on the hottest trend. It’s about connecting your brand with a cause that you and your stakeholders actually care about and working together to build change in the long run.

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