Jacquie Ottman's
Green marketing Blog

Jacquie Ottman's Green Marketing Blog

Sustainable Innovation 2013: Key Lessons

Enviu.org uses crowdsourcing to create concepts for innovative businesses with positive environmental and social impact.

Every year I head to Europe to take part in the Sustainable Innovation Conference organized by The Centre for Sustainable Design (UK) as part of its ‘Towards Sustainable Product Design’ series of conferences.  Sustainable Innovation brings together pioneers, movers and shakers from around the world and across multiple industries who are changing the game of sustainable design to present their ground-breaking concepts and ideas. This year’s program, as always …Read more...

 

Heineken Picks a Winner for Sustainable Packaging Challenge

Heineken $1000 bottle

The jury has spoken. The winner of the Heineken Sustainable Packaging Challenge — and a $10,000 prize is Germany’s Helmut Wittele. His “The Heineken $1000 bottle” idea turns beer pong into a recycling game.

Wittele proposed an innovative “Heineken-O-Mat” device designed to motivate consumers to return/recycle bottles. Increasing the return rate of bottles and cans has a very positive effect on their environmental impact. This idea has the potential to engage all parties needed to make a real difference for Heineken, consumers, …Read more...

 

Can Product-Sharing Sustain the Earth AND the Economy?

Sharing Economy Event April 24, 2012

Good green marketers push the innovation of different products. Better products. But can we profit from making fewer products in the first place? “Swap Don’t Shop,” the most recent of the Columbia Business School Alumni Club’s Making Green from Green events, explored this very dilemma.

The panel began with a sobering point; Moderator Cameron Tonkinwise of the Parsons School of Design Strategies reminded his audience of green business advocates that for all the sustainable sourcing, the holistic …Read more...

 

Book Review: Greener Products: The Making and Marketing of Sustainable Brands

In his recently released Greener Products: The Making and Marketing of Sustainable Brands (2012, CRC Press, 222 pp.), Al Iannuzzi offers a detailed and persuasive case for incorporating sustainability into your business model.  Examining both the making and the marketing of green products, his writing is firmly situated in the language of business — making it a useful resource for both business leaders and students alike.

Iannuzzi’s message is rooted in two core truths that we believe in strongly. First, there is …Read more...

 

The Rise of the Biobased Economy — and Why Brand Owners Need to Develop a Strategy in 2012

Our economy is slowly but surely heeding the signal that carbon is the new watchword. During the past few years, a steady stream of so-called “biobased” products have been making their way to retail shelves — compostable dinnerware made from corn, plant-based laundry detergents, and bamboo flooring among them. Coke and Pepsi are now competing to be first to market with a soft drink bottle derived entirely from sugarcane or other plant materials.

The emerging biobased economy even has …Read more...

 

Book Review: The Method Method

The Method Method bookcoverIn their new book The Method Method: 7 Obsessions that Helped Our Scrappy Start-up Turn an Industry Upside Down, Method cofounders Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry with co-author Lucas Conley take the occasion of their unconventional company’s tenth anniversary to step back, and offer readers the opportunity to peek inside their business, learning from their mistakes and acquiring the secrets to their success.

The Method Method offers a refreshingly honest look at how to create and …Read more...

 

How to Choose the Right Eco-label for Your Brand

Eco-labels are an excellent way to enhance credibility for green marketing claims, but they are not without risk. While 28% of consumers look to green certification seals or labels to confirm that a product adheres to claims, these labels can also confuse. Happily there’s enough method within the madness for marketers to pave a way forward.

Eco-labeling challenges
More than 400 different eco-labels or green certification systems are now on the market. Questions such as which label is better, which product is …Read more...

 

Focus On Consumer Self-Interest to Win Today’s Green Customer

If your green ads showcase the now tiresome images of babies, daisies, and planets, your messages will likely be irrelevant to mainstream consumers. Eco-imagery may have tugged at the purse-strings of “deep green” consumers, but their lighter green counterparts, who make up the bulk of the market, want to know how even the greenest of products benefit them personally. While the environment may be the underlying reason a product was created or upgraded, it will likely not be the primary motivation for consumers to choose your brand over those of …Read more...

 

Will I See You at Sustainable Brands ‘11?

Sustainable Brands ‘11 kicks off on June 7.  This year’s theme is “Play On!”

I’ll be giving a kick-off talk on how to move sustainability forward through the power of educated, enlightened consumers.

I’ll also be doing a special signing for my new book,   The New Rules of Green Marketing: Strategies, Tools and Inspiration for Sustainable Branding (Berrett-Koehler, 2011).

Link to the SB’11 Pre-Game Webinar Series to see a sneak peek of some of the ideas I will be sharing.

Register …Read more...

 

The Value of Authentic Green Branding

I opened the business section of my New York Times on Earth Day and noted with dismay the lead article, “As Shoppers Cut Back Spending, “Green Products” Lose Allure”.   It reported that green brands launched in recent years by mainstream marketers such as Clorox (Green Works) and S.C. Johnson (Nature’s Source), had experienced sharp sales declines during 2009 and that introductions of green brands were off during that period, too.

And then I perked up. The article went on to report that, in stark contrast —even during …Read more...

 

Green Marketing 3.0 Can Re-ignite Interest in Green

Rumors of green’s demise are being greatly exaggerated.  In this year of fiery political passions, the word “revolt” is in the air.  However, I think Ad Age inhaled a whiff of the zeitgeist and incorrectly applied the term to consumers supposedly cooling in their ardor for green products.  “Has Green Stopped Giving? Seeds of Consumers Revolt Sprouting Against Some Environmentally Friendly Product Lines” trumpets the headline of a recent Ad Age article.  The author quotes Timothy Kenyon, director of GfK Roper’s Green Gauge study who more judiciously describes the …Read more...

 

Terrachoice’s Sins of Greenwashing Report—Time for Industry Self-Regulation?

dried green paint Most of you are familiar with      Terrachoice’s “Seven Sins of   Greenwashing” report.  On a webinar aired in late October, CEO Scott McDougall admitted that his firm never intended to be malicious in their use of the term, “sins”.  He believes that most of the “sins” of greenwashing being committed today are really not sins at all, but rather, inadvertent missteps. 

Call me literal, or not a fan of hyperbole, but I believe that calling, in effect, …Read more...

 

Green Marketing Myopia and the SunChips “Snacklash”

SunChips bagsMany marketing experts have weighed in on what they believe to be the reasons for the current backlash against SunChips’s new compostable chip package: excess noise. If you somehow missed it, consumers complained so loudly about the snack food’s new environmentally preferable but noisy corn-based bag  that the brand reverted to the old packaging for most of its line. Before we blame consumers once again for not sacrificing a little inconvenience for the sake of the planet, let’s …Read more...

 

Two Birds, One Switch? Brightening The Future With A Dark Idea

This is a guest blog post by Catie Carter.

"Lights Out New York" Press Release Picture

     For two months this fall, many of the cities largest buildings, including the Chrysler building, and Rockefeller Center, are turning their lights off. New York City Audubon has organized the fifth annual “Lights Out New York” in an effort to help migratory birds. Buildings participating in “Lights out New York” have agreed to turn their lights off from midnight to dawn from September 1st to November 1st.

Read more...

 

Pizza by Cer té: Greener By the Slice

This is a guest blog post by Jean-Claude Darne

New York’s first green pizzeria has opened it doors. Responsible consumers and pizza lovers, you can now enjoy a slice that’s made with the environment at heart. Cer té, a popular café in Midtown East opened ‘Pizza by Cer té’ on Earth Day, April 22nd 2010. To encourage us to help us spread the word they sent us a couple of pies to sample. We took it upon ourselves to put …Read more...

 

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