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Top 10 Sustainable Brands Talks of 2013

The glory of abundance is not necessarily lost and visions of a flourishing future are not naïve. There are strong signals pointing to the possibility of a thriving global economy — with health, dignity and happiness for all involved. The leading brands of tomorrow are seeing a wealth of opportunities in pursuing that possibility. They are reimagining their role in society, redesigning the ways they deliver value, and regenerating economic, environmental and social benefits as a result.

Smart brands planning for the long term are making sure their products and services are top-notch competitors in the market, while also solving social problems and alleviating, or altogether eliminating, resource tensions along the way. More and more are also starting to reach out in authentic voices, lifting artificial communication barriers and inviting key stakeholders on interactive, co-creative journeys. As we gear up to host hundreds of brands at the biggest annual gathering of the global Sustainable Brands community in early June, let's take a look at what proved to be the 10 most popular talks from Sustainable Brands events in 2013.

Here they are, in no particular order:

1. A Future Without Tradeoffs: BMW i's Path to a Sustainably Beautiful Future, by Uwe Dreher, Head of Marketing, BMW i — Uwe shares how the BMW i series of electric cars, featuring the compact urban i3 and the dynamic i8 sportscar, are being built from the ground up as entirely new concepts with the goal of being 'uncompromisingly sustainable' for the next age of mobility.
2. The New World of Shared Value: Mapping the Benefits of Project Phoenix, by Paulette Frank, VP of Sustainability, Johnson & Johnson — Paulette tells the story of Johnson & Johnson's Project Phoenix, which has taken on the unexpected and highly impactful challenge of turning a 'waste co-operative' in Brazil (think waste picking or scavenging) into a sustainable business enterprise.
3. Designing a Restorative Supply Chain through Co-Innovation, by Miriam Turner, Assistant Vice President Co-Innovation, Interface — Miriam presents the Net-Works initiative, a project in which Interface finds and feeds discarded fishing nets into an ambitious post-consumer nylon recycling process.
4. The Power of Storytelling: Lessons in Consumer Engagement, Activation and Loyalty, by Jonah Sachs, Co-founder and CEO, Free Range Studios — Jonah, an internationally recognized storyteller and author of Winning the Story Wars: Why Those Who Tell (and Live) the Best Stories Will Rule the Future, gives tips on leveraging storytelling as a tool for corporate communications.
5. The Economic Benefits of Circular Business Models, by Jamie Butterworth, CEO, Ellen MacArthur Foundation — Jamie helps us navigate opportunities in creating, measuring and communicating business and brand value in the context of innovating for a circular economy. The amount of market analysis describing the opportunities in profiting from a circular economy is growing thanks to the Foundation's research with McKinsey and others.
SB'14 San Diego
For more conversations like these, join us this June 2-5 at SB'14 San Diego. We will be moving the conversation forward with a focus on reimagining what's possible and redesigning our brands for the regenerative economy of tomorrow. Learn more
6. What's Brewing: Embedding a Unified Business Case Approach to Drive Product, Brand, Marketing and Operations at the Same Time, by Jim Hanna, Director of Environmental Impact, Starbucks — Jim argues that some of the techniques and arguments used to make a business case for corporate investment in sustainability are not working as desired. He shares his views on building a 'unified' business case approach that works equally well for everyone.
7. Disruptive Innovation and the Rise of the Values-Based Economy, by Tessa Wernink, Director of Communications, Fairphone — Tessa guides us through the motivation and respective advantages of Fairphone's social innovation model, while explaining why the startup sees itself as part of 'the rise of the values-based economy.'
8. From the Inside Out: Inspiration, Transformation and Change Management, by An Helena Van Hoofstat, Change Management Specialist, Kering — Kering, the parent company of PUMA, Gucci, Stella McCartney and multiple other brands, is considered one of the few most impressive corporate leaders in sustainability globally. In this presentation An Helena shares both the vision and on-the-ground tactics behind the company's efforts to create an employee base that is up for the challenges of the next economy.
9. Internal Carbon Fees to the Rescue, by Rob Bernard, Head of Sustainability, Microsoft & Bruce Rauhe, Walt Disney Imagineering, Disney — A select few companies are starting to incentivize financially their own business units internally in favor of reducing carbon footprints, effectively charging said business units in some fashion if they go beyond their 'carbon budgets'. Microsoft and Disney are two companies that are serious about this approach and there is a lot to learn from the early days of their efforts.
10. Measuring the Core Business Benefits of a Social Value Proposition, by Jason Saul, Founder & CEO, Mission Measurement — Jason discusses the concept of a 'social value proposition,' what kinds of value it can deliver, and how to measure them. In the process, he underlines the distinction between socially conscious consumers and consumers that respond to core-product 'social value drivers.'

[Click to expand full collection]

1] Clorox - Leveraging Environmental Sustainability to Drive Growth with Bill Morrissey

2] Engaging Your Workforce to Build Your Brand - Jeffrey Hollender, Seventh Generation

3] A Global Look Into the Future of Sustainability - Mark Lee

4] World of Good & Ebay - Leveraging the Power of Partnership to Create a Global Brand

5] GAP Inc Environmental Sustainability and Building a Credible Brand

6] The Evolutionary Benefits of Altruism - Dacher Keltner, UC Berkeley

7] SunChip's Sustainable Brand Journey: Thinking Outside (And About) the Bag!

8] Insights into New Consumer Segments: Moms and Millennials - Diane MacEachern

9] The 4th R: Reinvention and Your Sustainable Brand - California Academy of Sciences

10] Empathy in Business & Brands Yields Strong Affinity - Dev Patnaik

11] The Story of Timberland EarthKeepers

12] The Psychometrics of Sustainability - John Marshall Roberts

13] From Corporate Responsibility to Responsible Profit - Jason Saul

14] Culture Shifts and Brands - Tom LaForge, Coca Cola

15] Life Box: Plantable Packaging Assisted by Fungi - Paul Stamets

16] Nike Better World

17] Innovating Philanthropy: Panera's Pay What You Can Stores

18] The Business Value of Fun

19] Building in Happiness: How Values and Culture Matter

20] Leveraging Innovation: Lessons in Bringing Sustainable Packaging to Market

21] Rethinking the Game: Defining a New Purpose for Business

22] "Glocalization": How Starbucks is Leveraging Local with Its Global Brand

23] Go Further: Behind Ford's No Logo Campaign

24] Revolutionizing Our Global Economic Systems

25] A Revolution in Product Design

26] Engaging the Whole for Transformative Change

27] A Creative Brand Approach to an Unrecognized Problem

Top 10 SB Talks of 2013

Dimitar is the Director of Content Development at Sustainable Brands. He joined the team after earning a Master’s degree in Management Science & Engineering – focused on sustainable business – from Stanford University. Before Stanford, Dimitar worked in international development… [Read more about Dimitar Vlahov]

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