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7 posts from January 2008

January 30, 2008

What a REAL Sustainable Product and Company looks like

Forbo_sustainCheck out my last post, 100 Most Sustainable Companies. What a joke. They should take lessons from Forbo Flooring who wasn't on the list. Now there's a company who walks the walk.

I know I've mentioned Forbo before, but that's because it's a poster example of what can be done and few companies match it. If you know of any, PLEASE send them my way. Forbo just released a ECO-brochure which changes the way companies do business. It's a crib sheet for operational and marketing excellence.

Go ahead and download yourself a copy. Download forbo_marmoleum_smart_certified_sustainable_flooring.pdf

Forbo's GM, Denny Darragh welcomes the competition and encourages others to reach the same benchmarks they've established. That's the kind of person I can get behind and promote with an open heart. Denny believes that the only way we are going to transform the market to sustainability is if we share ideas. 

Under bloggy disclosure, I helped put up the group blog that Denny recently posted to, which is why I'm aware of his insightful words. Are corporations bad? Not if they all behaved liked Forbo, and that's why they are at the TOP of my list.

January 27, 2008

100 Most Sustainable(?) Companies in the World

Ladies you buying this list below? Are you feeling a little green washed? I am. Let's take it out of the spin cycle.

I just saw a GREAT presentation by Umbria on Green Market Trends. Umbria has dropped "green" and now uses "Sustainable" and the presentation made this list look questionable as it focused on the consumer perception vs. the investor's check sheet. And as investors know well, perception can greatly influence their reality.

Umbria measured the conversations of 160,000 blog postings which were scanned and picked up due to the key words used in the post that directly tied to Sustainable issues (recycle, green, eco-friendly, greenwash...) They could also determine via the tone and words chosen in the posts with a high degree of accuracy, what percentage of the posts were male or female, gen X, Y or boomer. Scary, huh?

It's scary, except that it proves what we've been saying here and on Lipsticking and Big Green Purse and WonderBranding and Diva Marketing and Learned On Women, Marketing to Women Online and BlogHers at large... Woman buy stuff and lo, women are greener than men.

Now back to the "Most Sustainable" 100.

The word "most" covers a lot of sins. Any reasonable person looking at the list below can pick out 20 companies that they know in their heart and mind are no where near Sustainable (and they don't even know what Sustainble means." Good intentions don't cut it. Greening up a factory while the products aren't sustainable doesn't cut it either. Then there's that little issue that the EPA has with making broad sweeping statements. This list implies that that are Sustainable because they are the most Sustainable. Compared to what?

"The Global 100, initiated by Corporate Knights Inc. with Innovest as the exclusive research provider, includes companies from 16 countries in sectors ranging from Oil and Gas to Wireless Telecommunication Services that were evaluated according to how effectively they manage environmental, social and governance risks and opportunities, relative to their industry peers."

"Manage risks and opportunities, relative to their industrial peers..." Even the wording sounds like a bit shady, but I'll cut them some slack however, because that's how investors gauge information, by comparing it to peers.

The good news?

Creating a list of any sort starts the comparisons, and the competition to be ON the list. Once ON the list, they want to be at the top of it. That's healthy competition that can make the planet better. All they need are rules so that everyone is playing the same game. I'm glad investors are recognizing the value in Sustainabily as a tread that isn't going to go away. You can believe in Climate Change or not, but everyone has a retirement fund and those retirement funds are tied to this "Sustainable" trend. For the full press release go here.

If you want to see what a REAL Sustainable Company and Product check out Forbo here. They are the poster company and proof that Sustainability can be reached.

The 2008 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World
3I Group PLC Diversified Financials - UK
Accor Hotels Restaurants & Leisure
Adidas Salomon Agency Textiles, Apparel & Luxury Goods
Advanced Micro Devices Semiconductor Equipment & Products
Agilent Technologies Inc Electronic Equipment & Instruments Goods
Air France-KLM Airlines
Alcoa Inc Metals & Mining
American International Group Inc Insurance - N. America
Atlantia Transportation Infrastructure
Atlas Copco AB Industrial Machinery
Babcock & Brown Investment Banking & Brokerage
BASF AG Diversified Chemicals
Baxter International Inc Health Care Equipment & Supplies
British Land Company PLC Real Estate Management & Development
British Sky Broadcasting Group PLC Broadcasting & Cable TV
BT Group PLC BT Group PLC
Cable & Wireless PLC Alternative Telecommunication Carriers
Cattles PLC Consumer Finance
Centrica PLC Multi-Utilities & Unregulated Power
Coca Cola Company Beverages & Tobacco
Credit Agricole SA Global Banks
Daikin Industries Limited Building Products
Deutsche Boerse AG Diversified Financials
Deutsche Post AG Air Freight & Logistics
Dexia Banks - Europe
Diageo PLC Beverages & Tobacco
Eastman Kodak Company Leisure Equipment & Products
Electrocomponents PLC Trading Companies & Distributors
Fabege AB Real Estate Management & Development
Fortum Corp. Electric Utilities - Intl
FPL Group Inc Electric Power Companies - N. America
Fresenius Medical Care AG Health Care Providers & Services
Gamesa Corp. Technologica Electrical Equipment
General Electric Company Industrial Conglomerates
Genzyme Corp. Biotechnology
Glaxosmithkline PLC Pharmaceuticals
Grupo Ferrovial SA Construction & Engineering
H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB Specialty Retail
Hbos PLC . Banks - UK & Ireland
Hewlett-Packard Company Computers & Peripherals
Holmen AB Paper & Forest Products
Iberdrola SA Electric Utilities - Intl
Inditex SA Specialty Retail
ING Groep NV Diversified Financials - Europe
Insurance Australia Group Insurance - Asia
Intel Corp. Semiconductor Equipment & Products
Johnson Matthey PLC Metals & Mining
Kesko Corp. Food & Drug Retailing
Kuraray Company Limited Commodity Chemicals
Lafarge Construction Materials
Land Securities PLC Real Estate Management & Development
L'Oreal Household & Personal Products
Marks & Spencer Group PLC Multiline Retail
Matsushita Electric Industrial Company Household Durables
Mayr-Melnhof Karton AG Containers & Packaging
Mitchells & Butlers PLC Hotels Restaurants & Leisure
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Limited Industrial Machinery
MTR Corporation Limited Road & Rail Transport
Neste Oil Corporation Oil & Gas Refining & Marketing
Nestle Food Products
Nexen Inc Oil & Gas Exploration & Production
Nike Inc Textiles, Apparel & Luxury Goods
Nikko Cordial Corp. Diversified Financials - Asia
Nippon Yusen KK Marine Transport
Nokia Corporation Communications Equipment
Novo Nordisk A/S Pharmaceuticals
Novozymes A/S Specialty Chemicals
NTT Docomo Inc Wireless Telecommunication Services
OMV AG Integrated Oil & Gas
Pinnacle West Capital Corp. Electric Power Companies - N. America
Reed Elsevier PLC Publishing
Ricoh Company Limited Electronic Equipment & Instruments
Roche Holdings Limited Pharmaceuticals
Royal Bank Of Canada Banks - N. America
Royal Bank of Scotland Global Banks
Royal Dutch Shell PLC Integrated Oil & Gas
Sainsbury (J) PLC Food & Drug Retailing
Saipem Energy Equipment & Services
SAP AG Software & IT Services
SCA AB Paper & Forest Products
Scania AB Construction & Farm Machinery & Heavy Trucks
Sekisui Chemical Company Limited Homebuilding
Smith & Nephew PLC Health Care Equipment & Supplies
Smiths Group PLC Industrial Conglomerates
Societe Generale Global Banks
State Street Corp. Diversified Financials - N. America
Swiss Reinsurance Company Insurance - Europe
The Capita Group PLC Human Resource & Employment Services
Tietoenator OYJ Software & IT Services
Toppan Printing Company Limited Commercial Services & Supplies
Toyota Motor Corp. Automobiles
Transcanada Corp. Gas Utilities
Unibail Holding SA Real Estate Investment Trusts
Unilever PLC Food Products
United Technologies Corp. Aerospace & Defense
Vestas Windsystems A/S Electrical Equipment
Walt Disney Company Movies & Entertainment
Westpac Banking Corp. Banks - Asia
Yell Group PLC Advertising

January 26, 2008

Dear Women of Politics and Leadership Day...

To the women I met today who want to know more about blogs - THIS is a blog. Blogs are the ONE tool that will help you accomplish all of the goals listed on today's board. From this simple platform you can:

  • Educate and support women
  • Pass on information
  • Start a dialog and keep it going
  • Be an activist for any cause
  • Empower other women to state what they know
  • Mentor the masses
  • Bring your values to the Internet table
  • Act globally... It's your voice, ACTIVATED! You are your own woman and be yet part of a collective.

KatheCheck out Kathy Schaaf's blog. http://katheschaaf.blogspot.com/ (note "blogspot", that's the software she's using which is free. Go ahead, Google "blogspot" up and start your own blog in about 3 minutes for free. The blog you're reading runs on Typepad, a different type of blogging software.)

Kathe's thoughts and words are now part of the Internet's dialogue. They are scanned and archived for others to read and be inspired by, perhaps generations from now. Check out www.blogpulse.com or www.topix.net - both scan and bring up blogs by key words. See who's leading the conversation on your favorite issue. Google "in women we trust" and see how many times it comes up. Before I started this blog, that phrase was only mentioned 10 times.   

If you want to add balance to the world, begin by adding your voice to the discussion. I trust in what you have to say. I trust that once you start blogging and refining your voice, that a new, more focus version of yourself will emerge. Still not so sure? Sign up for this blog and watch it for a couple of months. Get a feel for how blogs operate. You can always cancel without hurting my feelings. Add a comment below. Go ahead, just say HI MARY and see what happens.

Go to www.blogher.org and see how they've organized thousands of voices. Check out http://havefundogood.blogspot.com/ and read how Britt is using her blog to promote social change.

When you're ready to get serious, check out www.buildabetterblog.com and learn the ropes from the BlogSquad.

Kathe mentioned at our table, that she would like to have an un-party system. Blogs are both an un-party and the BIGGEST party you'll ever join. There's about 80 million of us out there. Come on in and carve what's on your mind into the Internet cave wall. Besure to flag me when you put up your first post. Sande, I expect to hear from you, soon!

January 23, 2008

Sundancing with Hollywood and Eco-Stars

Mary_sundanceWe were at the Sundance Film Festival last weekend to bring REAL Sustainability to the stars.  It was surreal - the confusion, the tight quarters, the crowded streets - I can see why the locals leave when Sundance is in town. We heard that Al Gore was wandering the scene, throwing his clout behind some film, but we didn't see him. Diane_tight_display

Diane MacEachern and I were on the Second Floor of the Treasure Mountain Inn hosting the Sustainability Suite. Our goal was to give the stars who care about the Climate Change conversation, a hands-on experience with the best examples of Sustainable products. Bill Pullman and Tim Daly, were two of the stars who came by to sign a square of Marmoleum Click(tm) (SMaRT certified Sustainable, Platinum level) and then sign it again via Olympic Paint (Green Seal Certified). The Sustainable Hands-o-Fame Squares will be sold off later on E-Bay with the money going to World Peace One and Alaska Wilderness League.

Bill_pullman CNN came down to learn about the Sustainable products as well - they had the top floor of the hotel and I swear, sucked up every available airwave. Although the hotel had wifi access, we sure couldn't get logged on. So much for trying to live blog the event... Tim_daly

We were also thrilled to meet Canadian author and activist, Maude Barlow, who is the head of the Council of Canadians. She was there in support of the new film FLOW: For Love of Water. Maude also has a new book out called Blue Covenant. I had no idea that Arizona is already OUT of water and she forecasts that California will be tapped out in 5 years. (Arizona imports it from other states.)

Meeting Maude and seeing the work that she's doing was truly inspirational. I hope to interview her for In Women We Trust.

My take away from the whole thing? I felt like Jody Foster in her role in Contact. She made contact, but the rest of society wasn't quite ready to hear the message. Sustainable thinking is in it's baby step stage. One of the camera men asked me after an interview "What's Sustainable mean"? After all the work that women like Maude and Diane have done over their lifetime and all the work that Forbo and Olympic have done to make their products eco-friendly, we're still a very long way off from being a Sustainable society. Hopefully, with the right kind of star power, the message will reach the masses, faster. Meanwhile... keep on blogging! 

January 09, 2008

When OC meets DC at the Sundance Film Festival

Mary_hunt_23_2

Next week I get to meet my blogging buddy for the first time. We're hosting the Green Pavilion at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

This is me, Mary Hunt (left), at my organic best when I'm NOT staring at a computer screen. Last spring I met Diane (right) in the blogosphere. She and I were both writing for Boomer Girl - well - she more than me. I was Maceachern_face_2 impressed with her credentials on green issues and her great idea of bringing 1 million women together to dedicate ourselves to swapping out $1000 of brown buying habits for $1000 of green buying habits on Big Green Purse.

While Diane was finishing her Big Green Purse book, I've been working on educating bloggers on Sustainable Standards. She focuses on the power of the purse and I focus on the power of the post.

We've only met on email or the phone, but through our posts and chats we know each other well. It turns out that besides our mindset, we also have our college days in common, she at the University of Michigan and me at Eastern Michigan University, 6 miles to the east. We both started out in the sciences, but she stayed with them and I left to join the marketing world. Today, I'm going back to green and she's swaying more towards marketing.

It's fitting that we meet for the first time at Sundance which is renowned for bringing new thoughts and actions into the world. For a long time, we both have felt like we were the only ones who said, women+green issues = business climate change. Now others are coming on board.   

The Green Pavilion is an invitation only, educational event for the stars and reporters to learn about REAL sustainable products - products like FSC reclaimed furnishings from Groovy Stuff, SMaRT Certified Sustainable Marmoleum Flooring, Green Seal Olympic Paint. We'll be live blogging the event, who we see, which stars are really carrying the Sustainable life forward... The entertainment writers may be on strike, but we aren't. See you soon, Diane!

January 07, 2008

In Women We Trust - Best Marketing to Women Blog

Green_women It's Christmas in January. I was going back through email I missed while away for the holidays and lo... the angels at Future Now bestowed a very nice recognition on In Women We Trust - Best Marketing to Women Blogs. I'm not alone, but that's what makes a good blog work - other bloggers. It's ironic that they used the green woman on the left as one of their pics. Green Women is what In Women We Trust is about... more accurately, Sustainable Women...

Holly Buchanan, the fingers behind Marketing to Women online, and part of Future Now, delivered the good news. It's such an honor to be part of the Future Now Best Blogger Mix below:

Michele Miller, Wonderbranding; Toby Bloomberg, Diva Marketing Blog; Andrea Learned, Learned on Women; Yvonne DiVita, Lipsticking; Mary Schmidt, Mary's Blog; all the fabulous folks at Blogher; Karen Barnes, Womentum; Wendy Maynard, Kinetic Ideas; Tami Anderson, How To Reach Women; Kelly Anderson, StartUp Princess.

Not surprisingly, I know most of them - blogging birds, do tend to blog together...

Thank you Holly and Future Now. I'm looking forward to talking a whole lot MORE about marketing to women in a planet-saving-way in 2008.

January 03, 2008

Study Reveals that Moms Recycle more than College Kids - go figure...

Trash_4 A new study shows that moms (housewives) deal with the trash more than college age kids. Are you as shocked as I am by the results? No? Even my 85-year-old Mother-in-law recycles all of her cans and bottles. I'm more shocked that we still need to conduct studies to prove what common sense tells everyone - women are the tipping point when it comes to rewiring the world. So.... if you want to create a tipping point for global action, focus on the women! That's what they do in micro-lending for the best return on investments - even women with the LEAST education take the most responsibility for following through.

Research was carried out from a sample of 525 university students and 154 housewives. The research, carried out at the University of Granada,  reveals that housewives are more willing to separate glass from other garbage than students.

The research was carried out in the Department of Social Psychology and Methodology of Behaviour Sciences at the University of Granada. It showed that the level of academic training is not related to the ecological awareness of people, despite the great proliferation of programs designed to educate and increase social awareness of the environment. Thus, according to research, housewives are more ecologically aware than university students, given they are more willing to recycle glass.

The good thing about this study is that is gives us one more thing to write about and quote. Like this conclusion: "In fact, housewives adopt environmentally friendly practices more often than students."

Humm... housewives who care for their kids, homes, schools, churches, town... DO MORE about environmental practices effecting all of the above than college kids who read about it. Who would have guessed that one? I wonder if they did a study comparing the purchasing practices of only mother's-with-children against the general population what they would learn? How about a mom vs. a single woman? How about a single woman against a single man - who would recycle more or make green(er) purchases?  How about housewives against house husbands? That may end up equal in effort, but there are so few house husbands, that the tipping point for global action wouldn't exist.

If you read Lipsticking, Learned on Women, Wonder Branding, Trendsight, Diva Marketing, Marketing to Women online, Interpret-her, La Marguerite, Funny Business, Mom's Rising, not to mention the thousands on BlogHer ... all these professionals could tell you the same thing - it's common sense, not science and not politics.

Here's my New Year's Resolution, it's the same one as last year's - band together ALL women on their very important job in 2008 - educate them on the issues, give them credit where credit is due and trust that their internal compass will guide them to take more action. Big projects like creating alternative fuels is important, but individual households and those who run them is where the real energy for global change will come from.