The 'Beast from the East' which buried many parts of Europe in snow and ice, did more than ignite a bread and milk-fueled hysteria of panic-buying. It reminded us to reconsider the realities of Climate Change.
PERMISSION FOR BRANDS TO FIGHT FOR CLIMATE JUSTICE
78% of respondents in Youth Culture Uncovered 2018 stated it was important to young people to have a positive impact on society. They are genuinely concerned today about their social, ethical, cultural and health footprints on the planet. American based researchers recorded recently that while 18-35 year olds really care about the environment they fall behind others when it comes to actually engaging in green activities. For example, 76% of young people claim to care, but only 34% recycled paper and aluminum cans. In comparison, only 51% of the general population cared, but 46% of these managed to recycle.
The problem? Many young people feel global problems are too big for individuals to solve. As a solution, they reward corporations or brands that take action and address problems for them. They buy their products and attend their events…. Why? They see corporations or brands as having the power of many, "the ultimate crowd" - spending money with companies is a form of activism - "crowdsourcing by consumerism". So, there are real opportunities to engage people as a brand in relevant ways which help them become part of the bigger picture.
SUSTAINABITY TALKING: EXAMPLES OF BRANDS LEADING THE PACK
Who? Ben & Jerry's.
What? A global assembly call for climate justice. Read more here.
Why? If it's melted, it's ruined. Just like Ben & Jerry's ice cream, if we let global warming continue as it is, our planet will be destroyed. And there is no plan(et) B. In 2002 it launched a carbon offsets programme for its manufacturing facilities and in 2007 ran their first global warming advocacy campaign with the Dave Matthews Band. From new flavour launches (Save Our Swirled) to lobbying event activations, the brand invest in climate action campaigns locally and globally which manifest annually.
What? Environment first, profit second.
Why? While many clothing companies are starting to tackle the problems associated with 'fast fashion', this brand's foundations lie in advocating utility and durability. Patagonia has demonstrated admirable self-disinterest, encouraging people to fix their clothes over buying a new jacket from them. Equally, in the Trump Era they have become his ecological anthesis, reacting publicly to counteract his governments' anti-environmental actions. For example, Patagonia used its platform to accuse Trump of stealing land when he rolled-back on the national monuments agreement.
What? Lego developed a Plant-Based Plastic.
Why? Lego is one of the most iconic uses of plastic. But its no secret that plastic is a dirty, environmentally unfriendly product to produce and use. Lego recently responded by releasing the first ever plant-based plastic, produced from sugar cane. The Bioplastic is 100% biodegradable and contributes to Lego's commitment to use more sustainable materials in the majority of its products and packaging by 2030.
Who? Bank of Aland
What? The Baltic Sea Project and Aland index, a programme that calculates the individual carbon footprint of each financial transaction a customer makes. The result of this is a monthly bill, alongside simple options to compensate for carbon emissions based on an individuals' behaviour, and you can compare and track your behaviour alongside the national average based on their data.
Why? The Bank and its customers are from an increasingly polluted area around the Baltic Sea. It wanted to influence their everyday decision to save the local environment. The Baltic Sea Project and Aland index helps raise public awareness and curate shared mindsets by helping people understand their own behaviour in a wider context. Change is created together - the index is available to any bank who wants to use it.