BE Blogs: A Voice for Responsible Business

As part of our sustainability pledge to discuss best practices openly and honestly, we share insights that allow others to effect change in their community. While companies have responsibility to drive change internally, we believe they also can add to their insights and impact by sharing their experience with others.

Come by often to read the latest news, subscribe to our blog via email or RSS reader. Even better, join the conversation and share your ideas on how business can be a force for good in your community and environment.

LOHAS: What It Is and Why It Matters to You

Aug 5, 2010   //   by Melinda Owens   //   Marketing & Communication, Terminology  //  2 Comments

LOHAS - Lifestyles of Health and SustainabilityAre you a LOHAS? You may have heard the term before, but you probably have trouble nailing it down. But if you run a business in the 21st century, you can’t afford to miss this important and growing demographic.

LOHAS, Defined

LOHAS stands for “Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability.” Companies use this label to describe a market segment focused on health and fitness, the environment, personal development, sustainable living, and social justice. Widely recognized in North America, Europe, Australia, and South East Asia, the LOHAS market segment consists of six main areas:

  1. Personal and Health
  2. Natural Lifestyles
  3. Green Building
  4. Alternative Transportation
  5. Eco-Tourism
  6. Alternative Energy

How to Think Like a LOHASian

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Destination Sustainability: How to Tell Your Story

Jul 15, 2010   //   by Colin Manuel   //   Leadership, Marketing & Communication  //  No Comments

You get it. After months of meetings, debate and analysis, you’re finally taking your first steps toward becoming a more socially and environmentally responsible company. Now that you’ve charted a course, how will you share your motivations and actions with the world?

Why You Should Communicate Early and Often

  1. Gain credibility by sharing the good and the bad – MolsonCoors recently announced the results of their sustainability initiative.  Compared to the year prior, MolsonCoors increased water use by 3%, but lowered emissions by 15%. This is exactly the kind of honest self-evaluation that lends you credibility.
  2. Grow your impact by inspiring others by your example – Many say that Patagonia wrote the book on sustainable business. Today, Patagonia is teaching Wal-Mart how to apply their sustainability practices on a larger scale. Who can you partner with as either teacher or pupil?
  3. Attract investors passionate about sustainable businesses – When it comes to long-term return, shareholders increasingly turn to sustainable businesses. Socially and environmentally responsible companies offer lower risks compared to “business-as-usual” firms.

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No Excuses: Start Sharing your Sustainability Story Today

Jul 13, 2010   //   by Colin Manuel   //   Company Culture, Leadership, Marketing & Communication  //  No Comments

Perfection is an illusion, so share your sustainable business goals todayWhy do we wait to talk about a goal until we’re close to achieving it? If you’ve ever struggled with a diet or fallen back into a bad habit, you probably already know how the strategy works. By keeping goals to yourself, it’s much easier to let things slide when something doesn’t go according to plan. Companies launch sustainability initiatives in the same way.

By waiting to announce goals until they’re close at hand, many companies believe they’ve lowered their risk of failure. In reality, they’ve lowered their chance of success.

3 Excuses to Avoid at All Cost

When you’re starting your sustainability journey, your company can’t afford to believe these excuses:

Excuse #1 – “We’re just getting started. Customers will question our commitment to real change when we’ve only taken a few steps.”

Excuse #2 – “Shareholders will see community engagement as a frivolous expense and invest their money elsewhere.”

Excuse #3 – “Critics will hound us for “greenwashing” if we fail to reach our destination.”

Be Heard: Spread the Word Early and Often

Transparency is a hallmark of a sustainable company. By communicating your goals openly and frequently, you’ll gain much more credibility in the eyes of consumers. You may even find help from unexpected places.  Being open and honest throughout your effort will ensure that your work has value.

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