GREEN SHOOTS UPDATE – MAY 2014

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) in business continues to be increasingly important. By appealing to consumers’ consciences and desires CSR helps companies to build brand loyalty and develop a personal connection with their customers.

In this month’s Green Shoots we bring you the latest on companies coming up with innovative ways to help subtly communicate their messages to consumers through CSR initiatives. We’re even looking ahead to Christmas with the new ‘Giving Tuesday’ charitable initiative.

At Wild Card we keep our finger on the pulse of environmental and CSR communication opportunities so get in touch if you would like to discuss what we can do for your brand.

Tourism for tomorrow?

Last month in China at World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Global Summit in China, some of the most sustainable tourism destinations and businesses around the world were recognised in the WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards.

First established in 1989 by the Federation of Tour Operators, the awards are designed to encourage action from all sectors of the industry to protect the environment and have since been further developed by the WTTC, which took them over in 2003.

There are six Award Categories: Business, Community, Destination, Environment, Innovation and People. They incorporate a stringent application and judging process by a panel of over 20 international experts drawn from the private sector, academia, NGOs and governments around the world. The listed finalists also undergo an independent on-site evaluation before the ultimate winners are announced.

WTTC president David Scowsill said: “The WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are aimed at recognising those businesses and destinations which protect natural and cultural heritage and improve local livelihoods around the world.”

Over the last 10 years WTTC has recognised 126 finalists and 42 winners. Finalists this year included small and large organisations and businesses alike. The world’s two largest travel companies, TUI and Cathay Pacific, were runners up in the Business Award to a small independent African tour operator, Asilia Africa.

Find out more about all the finalists and Award winners on the WTTC website. Read More > 

‘Socially Responsible Water’

Coca-Cola has just announced the launch of a ‘socially responsible’ water brand for the Chinese market. Called ‘Ice Dew Chun Yue’ at $0.32 the product is priced to be competitive with other local bottled water brands but will help bring clean drinking water to schoolchildren in rural China.

Whilst Coca-Cola has products in other markets which focus on different aspects of sustainability, this is its first to target a community issue. ‘Chun Yue’ means ‘Pure Joy’ and the entire brand has been created around this cause, with the slogan ‘Drink Good, Do Good, Feel Good.’

The product will be supplied to schools in rural areas, where droughts are common and clean water supplies limited. Fifty schools are already being supplied and future distribution will be helped by a partnership that Coca-Cola has developed with the One Foundation.

So far in China, there are fewer ‘socially responsible’ brands than in more developed Western markets, so Coca-Cola says it perceives this as an opportunity to do something innovative, particularly as the Chinese water category is ‘pretty generic.’

The bottled water market is growing fast in China, particularly following a number of high profile issues of water contamination. Coca-Cola has an existing water product called Ice Dew in China which had a 6% share of the market in 2013 and was No 5 in China, behind several local brands (according to Euromonitor).

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Lunchtimes get more sustainable at Sainsbury’s

New in Sainsbury’s last month were what were claimed to be the UK’s first sustainable tuna sandwiches – in three varieties made using Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fish. The lunchtime range also includes two varieties of tuna pasta salad.

Sainsbury’s MSC-certified tuna is sourced from the Maldives using a low-impact pole and line technique. This means that each wild fish is caught individually, reducing the inadvertent capture of other species (known as ‘by-catch’). Sainsbury’s was also the first retailer to sell MSC-certified tuna in its own brand in 2011.

Toby Middleton, MSC Senior Country Manager said “Tuna is a poster child for sustainable seafood and Maldivian pole and line-caught skipjack tuna was MSC certified in 2012. By choosing tuna from the Maldives tuna fishery, Sainsbury’s is supporting artisanal fishermen who have made an international difference to the way the Indian Ocean fishery is managed.”

Increased use of MSC-certified seafood is part of Sainsbury’s 20×20 Sustainability Plan which commits only fish that has been independently certified as sustainable by 2020.

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Art installation at Tower of London will mark WW1 centenary

A carpet of nearly 900,000 hand-made ceramic poppies will cover the Tower of London’s dry moat this autumn to raise funds for six service charities. The ‘epic’ display is part of an artistic installation called ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War.

The poppies will be sold at £25 each from 5 August 2014 and the net proceeds split equally between the following service charities. It is hoped that one will be sold for each of the 888,246 British and Colonial soldiers who were killed during the war – raising over £15 million in the process.

The poppies are being made in Derbyshire by ceramic artist, Paul Cummins, who will work with stage designer, Tom Pipe on the installation, which will run from 5 August through to November 11. The name for the project comes from a line in the will of a Derbyshire man who died in Flanders.

The scale of the event in a historic London landmark reflects the magnitude of commemorative events expected this autumn to mark the First World War centenary.

More information on how to purchase a poppy will be made available on the Historic Royal Palaces website later this summer.

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The era of the paperless plane?

The UK’s largest airline, Easyjet, says it is getting closer to achieving ‘paperless’ planes as it completes the fitting of all 220 of its cockpits with new touch screen technology to replace printed navigational charts, forms and manuals.

Easyjet will be the first airline in the world to attempt to replace traditional paperwork with ‘e paper’ documentation in this way. It is installing new Panasonic Touchpads across its entire Airbus fleet and hopes the project will be complete by the end of this month.

At present, all aircraft currently carry around 25kg of official paperwork in the cockpit, comprising forms, detailed checklists and operational manuals amounting to thousands of pages.

Eliminating this will reduce consumption of fuel in the air as well as dispensing with the printing and distribution of cumbersome hard copy versions. Easyjet currently has to distribute thousands of pages of manuals and forms to its fleet each year, which is based around the world at 24 different locations.

It is estimated the change will save around half a million dollars in fuel costs alone, as well as speeding up the efficiency of communications by remotely sharing and updating crucial operating information. Easyjet claims that the carbon footprint of one of its passengers is already 22% less than a passenger on a traditional airline flying on the same route and aircraft.

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‘Giving Tuesday’ coming to the UK this Christmas

The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) will organise the UK’s very first ‘Giving Tuesday’ on 2 December this year. An idea which originated in the US, Giving Tuesday aims to encourage businesses and the public to do something charitable. It is also intended as an ‘antidote to consumerism’ in the run-up to Christmas.

Giving Tuesday is led by CAF in partnership with Blackbaud (a company which specialises in non-profit software for fundraising) and the Cabinet Office. It is hoped that a wide range of charities and fundraising organisations will get involved. Cancer Research UK, Stewardship and Hope for Children are three early adopters.

Giving Tuesday was started in the US in 2012 by 92nd Street Y, with the support of the United Nations. The date was set as the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving. It started to become a global movement last year, with around 10,000 partners around the world including in Canada, Australia, Mexico, Singapore and Israel.

John Low, Chief Executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said: “We’re really excited to be bringing this amazing campaign to the UK. We hope that we can capture the imagination of the British public and permanently establish a day in the calendar to celebrate giving and the fantastic work charities are doing all over the country.”

With the hash tag #GivingTuesday and the UK Twitter account @givingtuesdayuk the event aims to harness the power of social media to create a global movement that will become a permanent feature of the annual charity calendar.

www.givingtuesday.org.

Read More > 

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