Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Marks and Spencer Plan A extends to 2015

Marks and Spencer commits to the next stage of Plan A, by stating the company's aim to become the world's most sustainable retailer by 2015, reports The Independent. Despite a complete lack of clarity over the standards in factories used by Marks and Spencer, it remains that the retailer has done much to raise the levels of ethical awareness among high street shoppers.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

New York Sep 22

All eyes on the UN on Sep 22 as Obama joins 100 other government heads at the summit on Climate Change and Chinese President Hu Jintao will present China's new plans to tackle global warming.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

UK's largest advertisers call for greener agencies

In May 2007, the COI called for agencies to improve their environmental credentials or risk being axed from their roster. In October, Procter and Gamble announced a sales target for environmentally improved products.

Many advertisers are reviewing the way they source materials, promote their products and dispose of waste, partly to win consumer approval, and partly to appease regulators and reduce future energy costs and taxation.

Some agencies may be responding faster than others, but there is a lot of action as companies recognise it will save them money in the longer term.

To assess how agencies are responding, Marketing has teamed with the Ethical Reputation Index (ERI) to publish the UK's first Green Agency Index which will ask 140 of the UK's top agencies to report how they are reducing their environmental impact. Invitations to participate were sent out to agency CEOs on Tuesday 8th January and results are due back by 21st January.

The results of the ERI Green Agency survey will be published in Marketing magazine in the coming weeks, and will be on hand to help clients and advertisers to choose their agencies based on a similar footing.

What do you think - is the communications industry is responding as fast as clients and consumers want?

Monday, January 07, 2008

Consumers call companies on false green claims

Last year there was a big rise in the number of people reporting false green claims to the Advertising Standards Authority reports Marketing magazine. Certainly consumers are becoming more aware of environmental issues, but their awareness of greenwashing is increasing too. Marketers and their agencies need to be more aware of their customers' increasing sophistication.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Procter and government announce new targets

Two significant announcements today - one from a brand owner and the other from government. Taken separately they are both important stories, but taken together they mark a huge change in the relationship between individuals, brands and government. Procter and Gamble released news of the company's plans to reduce the environmental impact of their products, while the UK Government announced "pay as you throw" plans. Procter's move to 'green' 10% of its products will help consumers to reduce their impact and reduce the amount they recycle, so they'll have lower recycling bills. If local councils do adopt this type of pay as you throw scheme, then consumers are very likely to choose the products that help them to keep their waste bills down. A good move by Procter and one that will protect their business in years to come.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

GAP accused of child labour

GAP, the clothing retailer and member of Red initiative, was today accused of using child labour in the production of its clothing in India. Despite being rated as one of the most ethical retailers in the Time Out shopping league, ERI respondents have consistently rated GAP as one of the least ethical retailers on the index. Nearly 90% of people who rated GAP poorly did so because they believe "the company exploits its workers e.g. low pay, long hours or poor working environment" and the latest news will dent GAP's reputation even further.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Is organic any good?

News yesterday from BBC says that some goods may be stripped of their organic status if they've been flown into UK. If implemented this will help clear up some of the confusion that exists in consumers' minds. Back in 2006, to coincide with Fairtrade fortnight, ERI conducted research which shows half of UK shoppers weren't clear about the differences between fairtrade, organic and ethical goods. About 5 in 10 people say they are confused as to what the terms mean.

That said, many shoppers think organic means 'healthier and better for people and the environment'. Not so, according to AAGill in The Times, but the Soil Association might disagree.

But consumers are still choosing organic, and in increasing numbers, although they see the irony when organic food is flown thousands of miles to their supermarket.

Our research clearly shows that the people who buy organic also want less packaging and locally sourced products. If advertising promises this, but the store fails to deliver, shoppers pick up on it straight away. One ERI respondent says, "It is bad when a company does a big ad campaign about local sourcing, then a visit to the shop shows they are not. Am fed up with veg from Chile, Morocco etc, not what they advertise at all."