Sustainability Marketing: The Power of True Stories
Sustainability Marketing: The Power of True Stories
The Yale Center for Customer Insights, The Yale Center for Business and the Environment and Interbrand partnered to bring you an exclusive conference on sustainability and the power of true stories.
Companies can no longer pay mere lip service to sustainability in a leveled, democratic marketplace where consumers demand transparency as the return on their emotional and economic investment in a brand. Successful companies must be ready to tell a compelling and authentic sustainability story, acknowledging limitations and defining an honest vision for overcoming them.
At the Sustainability Marketing: The Power of True Stories conference, we explored new ways of thinking about sustainability, authenticity, and storytelling with talks from leading academics and practitioners across a range of fields. Read more about the day here.
Jonathan is Unilever’s Vice President of Sustainable Living and Corporate Communications, North America. He joined the company in May 2012 and is responsible for Communications, Unilever Brand, and the shape and implementation of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan in North America.
In 2007, Jonathan founded Common Way Communications, a public affairs and communications consultancy based in Vermont. There he worked as a consultant to the Global Issues Group, a coalition of global chocolate and cocoa processing companies and trade associations working on responsible labor practices in the cocoa sectors of West Africa.
Prior to forming his consulting business, Jonathan was the Senior Director of Global Issues Management for Kraft Foods based in Illinois. He joined Kraft in 2002 and served as the Director of Corporate and Government Affairs for Kraft Foods Asia Pacific based in Australia and Singapore.
Before taking on the global issues management assignment, he was the Senior Director of Commodity Sustainability programs for Kraft and was responsible for the strategic design and implementation of programs to promote the long-term sustainability of Kraft’s sources of key commodities.
Jonathan is a graduate of Bowdoin College. He lives with his wife and son in Connecticut.
Maxine (Kaye) Bédat is the co-founder of Zady.com, a shopping platform and lifestyle destination for the next generation of consumers who care about the origins of the items they purchase. What Whole Foods has done for the organic food movement, ZADY will do for sourced products. ZADY is amongst the first online retailers to seamlessly integrate commerce, rich media content and social media to provide customers with a dynamic shopping experience. On Zady, customers can learn about the conscious consumer movement and purchase beautiful goods that were created with craftsmanship and artisanship – qualities that have been sacrificed in a world of cheap prices and fast production.
With a background in diplomacy and the United Nations, in 2010 while in law school, Maxine established The Bootstrap Project, an organization dedicated to changing the lives of artisans in developing countries. The origin of The Bootstrap Project began one year earlier, when Maxine was clerking in Tanzania for the United Nation’s International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the court that prosecutes those responsible for the genocide. Maxine used her free time in Africa to explore, hoping to deepen her understanding of economic development.
On one excursion, she went to the country of Swaziland. There, she came across Thembenkile, a local craftswoman who made beautiful, meticulously carved wooden dishes. Thembenkile told Maxine how she learned the craft from her father who in turn had learned it from his. She told the story of her family and five grown children: only two had jobs, none were following the family trade, all were living in . Maxine asked why she was not passing down her unique skills. “No one will buy my things,” she said. “My people can only pay for plastic that comes to us from far away, so my kids don’t have a reason to learn.” From this encounter, The Bootstrap Project was born.
Since then, The Bootstrap Project has become a platform for enterprising artisans to learn new skills, expand their businesses, share their customs and traditions, and revive the world’s most beautiful crafts. Five percent of proceeds from every sale on Zady.com and ZADY’s iPad application benefits The Bootstrap Project.
Maxine received her Juris Doctorate degree with honors from Columbia Law School. She lives in New York City with her husband Stéphane.
Gina Boswell has been leading the multi-billion Personal Care portfolio for Unilever North America, which is made up of hair care, skin, and deodorant categories, since mid-2011.
Formerly as President, Global Brands for Alberto Culver, Ms. Boswell oversaw all global brands, such as TRESemmé, NeXXus, and St. Ives for this $3.7 billion market cap company, until acquired by Unilever. Prior to Alberto Culver, she was Chief Operating Officer of Avon North America, and held senior positions at Ford Motor Company and the Estee Lauder Companies, following years as a consultant with Marakon Associates and Arthur Andersen.
Ms. Boswell currently serves on the boards of Manpower Inc. (NYSE: MAN), YMCA USA, Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW), and the Personal Care Products Council, where she also serves on the Executive Committee. Ms. Boswell was named a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute in 2005. She is a member of the Chicago Network, the Executives’ Club of Chicago, the CMO Executive Summit’s Board of Governors, and the Yale University President’s Council.
In 2012, Gina was recognized as a “Woman to Watch” by Advertising Age an annual list of 25 women in advertising, marketing and media whose accomplishments and future business potential have made them truly outstanding in their industries and “Marketer of the Year” by Women’s Wear Daily. Ms. Boswell was CEW's Achiever of the Year in 2011, earning the only industry award recognizing the achievements of women in the cosmetics industry. She is a summa cum laude graduate of Boston University and received her MBA from Yale University. Ms Boswell and her husband live with their two daughters in Chicago’s Western Suburbs.
Dr. Cain's research focuses on "judgment and decision making" and “behavioral business ethics" – in other words, he studies the reasons that smart people do dumb things, good people do bad things. Cain is a leading expert on conflicts of interest, especially the “perverse effects of disclosing conflicts of interest.” This work ties in with Cain's work on how to turn altruism on/off. Cain’s work has been discussed in The New Yorker, Forbes, the Washington Post, BusinessWeek, USA Today, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and other top media outlets.
Josh Dorfman is an environmental entrepreneur, author, and media personality. He was most recently Site Director of Vine.com, an e-commerce retailer specializing in natural, organic, and sustainably-made products, which he developed and launched for Quidsi, an Amazon.com subsidiary. At Vine.com, Josh was responsible for overall site strategy and led marketing and merchandising. Previously, Josh was Vice President of Marketing for GoodGuide, a “Fast Company 50” provider of authoritative information about the health, environmental, and ethical performance of consumer products. Josh is also known as “The Lazy Environmentalist,” a media brand he first created as a blog in 2005 and later developed into a daily radio show on SiriusXM and reality television series on Sundance Channel for which he was Executive Producer and Host. In 2009, The Lazy Environmentalist was awarded “Best Reality Show” by the Environmental Media Association. Josh is the author of two books on innovative green products and services: The Lazy Environmentalist: Your Guide to Easy, Stylish, Green Living and The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget. In 2003, Josh founded and was CEO of Vivavi, a retailer of modern-design, sustainable furniture and furnishings, named by Inc. Magazine as one of the top 50 companies driving the green revolution. From 2007-2010, Josh served as national spokesperson for Brita’s FilterForGood campaign to reduce bottled water waste. In 2010, Josh was inducted into the inaugural class of the International Green Industry Hall of Fame. He has appeared widely on television and radio and is the only guest to have ever ridden a bicycle onto the set of the Martha Stewart Show. Josh holds an MBA from Thunderbird, The Global School of Management, and BA from the University of Pennsylvania.
Amy Hartzler heads up the Washington D.C. office for Free Range Studios, a creative communications firm that collaborates with visionary changemakers working to create a better world. She develops storytelling strategies for organizations like the Rockefeller Foundation, the Great Place to Work Institute, and Global Zero, a campaign to eliminate nuclear weapons worldwide. Amy inspires entrepreneurs and changemakers speaking at venues like Columbia University’s Social Enterprise Boot Camp, Social Venture Network, MassArt, CampaignTech, and American Institute of Graphic Artists (AIGA) events.
Raised in a bipartisan, multi-faith, midwestern home, Amy moved to Washington D.C. after several years in academic publishing at Duke University Press. She prefers thoughtful questions over too-simple answers, and loves big rings, jury duty, and almost every dog she meets.
Gary Hirshberg is Chairman of Stonyfield Farm, the world’s leading organic yogurt producer, and Managing Director of Stonyfield Europe, with organic brands in Ireland, and France. Gary serves on several corporate and nonprofit boards including Applegate Farms, Honest Tea, Peak Organic Brewing, Late July, The Full Yield, Glenisk, the Danone Communities Fund and the Danone Livelihoods Fund. In 2011, President Obama appointed Gary to serve on the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations. He is a Co-Chair of AGree, an agricultural policy initiative formed by the Ford, Gates, Kellogg, Rockefeller, Walton and other leading foundations. He is Chairman and a founding Partner of “Just Label It, We Have the Right to Know,” the national campaign to label genetically engineered foods, and is co-author of Label It Now – What You Need to Know About Genetically Engineered Foods. He is the author of Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World. Gary has received ten honorary doctorates and numerous awards for corporate and environmental leadership including a 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award by the US EPA.
Anjali Kumar is an idea acupuncturist, lawyer, designer, traveler, writer, and explorer. In slightly more official terms, she is the General Counsel and Head of Social Innovation at Warby Parker, a transformative lifestyle brand offering designer eyewear at a revolutionary price while leading the way for socially-conscious businesses.
Anjali was Senior Counsel at Google NY, where she was a commercial and product attorney on areas ranging from Google X to advertising technology to YouTube. She also curated the @Google speaker series, bringing Googlers around the globe face-to-face with some of today’s most prominent thinkers. Pre-Google, Anjali was General Counsel at Acumen Fund, an attorney at Shearman & Sterling and led strategic planning at Robin Hood Foundation. She is currently an Adjunct Professor at Fordham University and served as a board member of ISSUE Project Room.
Anjali is at work on a book called "From Google to God", as well as a feature-length documentary based on the book and in collaboration with Russell Simmons and Madeleine Sackler. She is also the co-creator with Questlove of the forthcoming web series "Questlove Presents: Slightly Reserved with Anjali Kumar", which will appear on the Fast Company website. She has also designed a handbag line featured in Vogue and on Sex and the City. She earned her BA in Biomedical Ethics from Brown University and her JD from Boston University School of Law, and lives in New York City with her husband, Atul, and daughter, Zia.
Stephen McDonnell is the founder and CEO of Applegate, a leading producer of organic and natural meat sold throughout the U.S. Since Applegate’s start in 1987, Stephen has been a major proponent of sustainable agricultural and the humane treatment of livestock. His primary focus is on the misuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture and its impact on public health. Stephen has spoken on the topic on national television and radio and at Congressional briefings on Capitol Hill. Stephen is also one of the founders of Citizens Against Superbugs, a campaign to raise public awareness about the overuse and misuse of antibiotics on industrial farms.
In recent years, Stephen has funded documentary film as a means to raise public awareness about important issues around food. In 2010 Applegate hosted nationwide screenings of Lunch Line, a documentary outlining the history, challenges and future of the National School Lunch Program. In 2013 he’ll fund the marketing and distribution of Resistance, a documentary about the growing resistance to antibiotics linked to animal agriculture.
Stephen has a particular interest in food system innovation and in 2012 sponsored the first in a series of Meat Hackathons – a model for prototyping innovative solutions to challenges in the way meat is produced, processed, distributed, sold and consumed.
Outside of Applegate, Stephen, and his wife, Jill, established the McDonnell Kearney Foundation where they support a variety of initiatives such as the Maasai Cultural Exchange Project, Fonkoze, 5 for Fairness and the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship.
Stephen serves on the Board of Directors for Stonyfield and Practically Green.
Barry Nalebuff is an expert on game theory and has written extensively on its application to business strategy. He is the coauthor of six books: Thinking Strategically and The Art of Strategy are two popular books on game theory with over 300,000 copies in print. In Co-opetition, Nalebuff looks beyond zero-sum games to emphasize the potential for cooperating as well as competing. In Why Not?, he and Ian Ayres provide a framework for problem solving and ingenuity. Lifecycle Investing provides a new strategy for retirement investing. His book, Mission in a Bottle, tells the story of Honest Tea in comic book format. A graduate of MIT, a Rhodes Scholar, and Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows, Nalebuff earned his doctorate at Oxford University.
In addition to his academic work, he has extensive experience consulting with multinational firms, from American Express, GE, and McKinsey to Google and Rio Tinto. He advised the NBA in their negotiations with the National Basketball Players Association and serves on the board of Nationwide Insurance. In 1998, Barry together with one of his former students, Seth Goldman, cofounded Honest Tea, a company that sells ready-to-drink iced tea that truly tastes like tea. It is one of Inc. Magazine’s fastest growing companies and has grown (organically) from $0 to $70 million in sales. In 2011, Coca-Cola purchased the company.
Tascha Rudder is the Vice President of Business Development at FEED, a social business whose mission is to "Create Good Products That Help FEED the World."Every product sold has a measurable donation attached to it and, to date, FEED has been able to donate over $7.8 million and provide over 62 million school meals globally through the United Nations World Food Programme and Feeding America. FEED has also supported nutrition programs around the world, providing micronutrients to over 3.5 million children through UNICEF.
Before joining FEED, Tascha was Senior Vice President at Designers Management Agency, providing talent representation and business development services to luxury fashion designers and brands. She now applies this experience to FEED, identifying partners and constructing programs which span co-branded product development, licensing deals and cause marketing initiatives. Over the past six years, FEED has forged successful partnerships with companies such as Target, Disney, Pottery Barn, Clarins, Whole Foods, Gap, Tory Burch, Rachel Roy, DKNY, Links of London, Godiva and TOMS.
Just prior to her arrival at FEED, Tascha lived in Cambodia for two and half years where she worked with aid to artisan groups advising on marketing and product development. During that time she also traveled throughout Africa meeting with artisans and working with a clean water and sanitation NGO.
Tascha now lives in New York CIty with her husband, Daniel, and daughter, Nico (a FEED-er in training).
Andrew Shapiro has spent the last two decades working at the nexus of
new technologies and societal transformation -- with a focus over the last
dozen years on energy and environmental innovation and before that on
information technology and globalization.
He recently founded Broadscale Group, a new model of investment firm
dedicated to scaling up breakthrough solutions for a changing world. Broadscale is working with a
network of leading energy corporations -- including Duke Energy, GE, Johnson Controls, and National
Grid -- to invest in and commercialize the most promising market-ready innovations.
In 2000, Andrew founded GreenOrder, a strategic advisory firm that has worked with more than 100
enterprises to make energy and environmental innovation a source of competitive advantage.
Highlights include working with GE's leadership since 2004 on its multi-billion dollar ecomagination
initiative; counseling GM for five years on strategic issues including the launch of the Chevrolet Volt;
and serving as green advisor for 7 World Trade Center, NYC’s first LEED-certified office tower.
Other clients have included Alcan, Allianz, BP, Citi, Coca-Cola, Disney, Duke Energy, DuPont, Hines, HP,
JPMorganChase, McDonald’s, Morgan Stanley, NASDAQ OMX, National Grid, NBC Universal, NRG,
Office Depot, Pfizer, Polo Ralph Lauren, Simon Property Group, Target, Tishman Speyer, TXU, and
Waste Management. Andrew and GreenOrder also co-founded the US Partnership for Renewable
Energy Finance (US PREF). In 2008, Andrew and his partners successfully sold GreenOrder and he
continued to lead the firm through 2011. GreenOrder is now part of Cleantech Group.
Before GreenOrder was sold in 2008, Andrew and his partners spun out GO Ventures, a subsidiary
they had created to incubate and invest in environmentally innovative businesses. GO Ventures has
cofounded and financed California Bioenergy, Class Green Capital, and GreenYour.com. In 2011,
Andrew led the sale of GreenYour.com to Recyclebank and joined Recyclebank’s Sustainability
Advisory Council. He has been an investor in, and advisor to, more than a dozen other companies.
Fortune’s Marc Gunther recently described Andrew as “green business’s go-to guy.” He has been
profiled in a New York Times feature, “A Dollars-and-Cents Man with a Green Philosophy,” and in Inc.’s
Green 50 and Outside’s “Enviro All-Stars.” He has been a visiting faculty member at Yale and
Columbia, his writing has appeared in diverse publications (from Wired, the New York Times,
and Harvard Business Review online to Foreign Policy, The Nation, and GreenBiz), and he has
appeared on CNN, PBS, NBC's Today Show, BBC, and NPR.
From the mid-1990s to 2000, Andrew focused on information technology's impact on society. His
1999 book The Control Revolution, an Amazon.com bestseller, was called “an excellent, balanced and
thorough new book” (L.A. Times). He was a fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society,
ran the Aspen Institute’s Internet Policy Project, and was senior advisor to the Markle Foundation. He
was named by MIT's Technology Review as one of 100 young innovators who would shape the future
Prior to that, Andrew focused on globalization. In 1992, Random House published his book We're
Number One!: Where America Stands—and Falls—in the New World Order, which was also released in
Germany and Japan. President Clinton invited Andrew to speak at his post-election Economic Summit.
Andrew serves on the advisory board of Yale’s Center for Business and the Environment and has
served on environmental committees for the NYC2012 Olympic Bid, the Lower Manhattan
Development Corporation, and the Urban Land Institute. He was a longtime board member at the
Southern Center for Human Rights and the nonprofit Reboot and served at the appointment of Mayor
Michael Bloomberg on a task force on career and technical education.
Andrew is a graduate of Brown University (Phi Beta Kappa, 1990) and Yale Law School (1995). He
served as a law clerk to Judge Pierre N. Leval of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and
was admitted to the New York State bar.
Vincent Stanley, Patagonia’s current VP at Large, has been with the company on and off since its inception in 1973 and is the co-author with Yvon Chouinard of The Responsible Company. For the past eight years he has focused on the intersection of the company’s brand, sport, and environmental stories. He helped initiate and produce the Footprint Chronicles, the company’s interactive website that outlines the social and environmental impact of its products, its Common Threads Partnership (through which every Patagonia product may be returned for recycling), and PatagoniaBooks.
Tom is Executive Director in the New York office managing the brand strategy practice across offices and clients in North America.
Tom has the benefit of over 25 years of brand consulting experience with a deep and diverse insight about how brands influence cultures, customers and shape markets on a national and international scale. He has strong CEO relationships and understands how organizations behave and communicate effectively as an extension of the CEO Vision through the definition of a brand.
Tom has benefited from working on both large and small assignments participating in the transformation of organizations where the brand serves to motivate and inspire change. Work for Tyco International at a time of great infamy for the organization, global brand strategy for the expansion of an American icon like John Deere, defining the leader in information services with the merger of Thomson and Reuters and the creation of the first national energy brand, Energy Star are but a small sample of the portfolio of work that defines his experience.
Tom, over the past 14 years, has built an expansive client roster: BlueCross BlueShield Association, Frito-Lay, New York Life, NYCE, General Motors, Motorola, Duke Energy, USAA, Ingersoll-Rand, Delta Dental, Delphi Automotive Systems, Standard & Poor's, EPA, Manitoba Provence, Microsoft, Tyco International, Thomson Reuters, MeadWestvaco, Celestica, John Deere, and several not-for-profit clients as a part of the Interbrand Foundation