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At Sustainable Brands, our goal is to highlight the incredible work companies in all industries are doing to disrupt the old, linear approach to business and embrace new ways of profiting with transformative “big picture” strategies, initiatives, partnerships, products, services and business models — and the implications this momentum has for business and brands. The SB editorial platform serves as a resource for those looking to learn more and assess how and where they can have the most impact in their own operations.
To that end, we feature and seek original* content that examines how companies around the world are, for example:
- Creating solutions — our community is well-versed on the issues (the “what”) and the need to solve them (the “why”). Show us the “how” — the products, services, initiatives and business models that are creating change now.
- Going beyond “doing less bad” — while reducing impacts is still an immediate concern and a necessary step, we’re looking to highlight those working toward everything from zero waste, emissions, and environmental/social impacts to net positivity in terms of energy, materials and resources; creating tangible benefits and shared value for all stakeholders.
- Building business value by authentically embedding purpose into their brand offering — feel-good social benefit campaigns and philanthropic activities are all well and good ... but we want to highlight initiatives that help companies build brand and business value while they're giving back. Ex: supporting smallholder farmers in a developing country that is part of a company's supply chain vs. one-off charitable giving activities to communities in a developing country.
- Correlating sustainability with business value — we want to hear from and about companies that understand that the long-term health of their business is inextricably linked to the long-term health of the planet and those who inhabit it, and are creating KPIs and success metrics that reflect this.
- Making good on their commitments — If we had a nickel for every time a company issued a set of "bold 2020 goals" ... The continued momentum around companies' efforts to improve is incredible and we wholeheartedly commend the hundreds around the world challenging themselves to do so. But what is of greater use and interest to us and our community are reports on progress toward those goals, along with what is and isn't working, benefits generated from the improvements (financial and otherwise), and how they continue to set the bar higher with each success.
- Sharing the bad along with the good — examining failures and barriers, as well as successes, is vital for continued progress. We value those willing to share specific case studies, and encourage you to remember that while people rarely share them, failures are as valuable as successes.
- Changing “sustainability” from a department to a common thread through all departments — holistically approaching sustainability by incorporating relevant KPIs into all areas of the business, and aligning the ethos behind these goals with the overall mission of the business.
- Forging pre-competitive partnerships — through which companies combine their creative, strategic, scientific and financial resources to solve the complex, systemic challenges inherent to global businesses, and together create real, on-the-ground changes in the farthest reaches of their value chains.
- Engaging customers and other stakeholders — from creatively communicating their sustainability efforts, to acknowledging their shortcomings, to enlisting customers’ help in making critical changes, forward-thinking organizations are winning brand loyalty by changing the way they interact with their customers.
- Think Sustainability 2.0. Emphasize "innovation" and "opportunity" over "responsibility" or "compliance."
- Think "big picture." Focus on ideas, initiatives and case studies that will offer beneficial information for a broad range of companies or industries.
- Share metrics. Quantifying the impact and ROI of sustainability initiatives is of particular interest and value to our community.
- Reference current trends. Start by perusing SB's editorial channels for a look at what topics we've published on in recent months. You may find inspiration from the industry surveys, company news, interviews with business leaders, and past contributions from SB writers. Any references to previous SB coverage should be hyperlinked within your text.
- Frame your article in a way that will inform, interest or appeal to a large subset of the SB community (see 'Who reads SB?') by presenting strategies and takeaways that could benefit organizations in a variety of industries. Instead of a self-promotional pitch about how great your company's latest program is, try and present the topic as insights and benefits that your company has gained as a result of the program.
Our core audience of sustainable business innovators trend toward mid- to high-level managers or decision-makers who are looking for new ways to build business and brand value by pairing reduced environmental and social impact with positive economic results — ideas and strategies that go above and beyond compliance and what their peers might already be doing. Our readers generally possess more than a basic understanding of the opportunity in "doing well by doing good." They already "get it," and now want smart, strategic thinking; novel, innovative ideas; and tested approaches with demonstrated success metrics, when possible.
- First-time contributors must create a user profile, including a head shot, contact info and bio.
- Target article length is 500-1000 words, with a single space between sentences
- Content must be non-promotional in nature
- Use of words such as "green," "eco-friendly," "sustainable" (without the appropriate context) and similarly overused buzzwords is highly discouraged (you can do better than that).
- Please make sure we either haven't already covered your topic or that it is in fact newsworthy in the context of what we have covered (see 'Writers' guidelines').
- *If your article has been submitted to or has run in other publications, please let us know — under certain circumstances, we agree to repost content, but for the most part we will not run duplicate articles.
- You're welcome to submit a suggested landscape-oriented, hi-resolution image for potential inclusion with your piece.
- Ensure that all changes to the document are accepted and that "track changes" is turned off
- All desired hyperlinks must be embedded in the document (not footnoted) prior to submission
If you've read and understood the above information and have a story you'd like to pitch, drop us a line.