​5 brands taking direct climate action

If marketers know one thing for sure, it's consumers are increasingly putting their support where the positive action is

If marketers know one thing for sure, it's consumers are increasingly putting their support where positive action is occurring. 

Brand purpose is not just making nice words and taking no action. The increasingly savvy consumer demands a demonstrating of what brands are dong to make the world a better place before handing over their money.

Here, we check out five brands truly taking action to help improve the environment.

Intrepid Travel
Credit: Intrepid

Sustainable travel tour operator, Intrepid Travel, just launched Offset Earth, a monthly subscription service starting at US$6.50 for travellers to offset their personal emissions and make positive lifestyle changes for the environment via climate initiatives all over the world.

“Part of what makes the climate crisis so intimidating is the sheer scale of it, but in reality, a collection of small efforts made by individuals can add up to meaningful change,” Intrepid Travel chief customer officer, Leigh Barnes, said.

“This program turns the actions of individuals, independently and easily taking accountability for their own footprint, into a massive collective effort to mitigate the global community’s carbon output and enforce reduction strategies worldwide.”

Intrepid Travel has been carbon-neutral for 10 years. This year the company has become climate positive, offsetting more carbon than it emits through its trips and tours.

There are three tiers of subscriptions for Offset Earth: Helper for the everyday citizen, Booster for those who drive or fly more than average, and Mega for people who want to offset even more carbon than they produce. There are also family plans available. Subscribers’ carbon emissions will be offset with Gold Standard credits, removing 22 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere each year.

Offset Earth will plant 12 trees and Intrepid Travel will match those 12 trees with each subscription.

Subscribers will receive a monthly report showing how many trees they’ve planted and the amount of carbon they’ve helped to offset. They will also be asked to commit to other ways to help the environment like reducing single-use plastics, avoiding fast fashion and using public transportation.

The Guardian
Credit: Dreamstime

In October 2019, the Guardian pledged to reduce the Guardian’s emissions to net zero by 2030 and it has been certified as a B Corporation.

The media company has also decided it will no longer accept advertising from fossil fuel extractive companies on any of the Guardian’s websites and apps, nor in the Guardian, Observer and Guardian Weekly in print.

It admits some readers would like it to go further, banning ads for any product with a significant carbon footprint, such as cars or holidays. However, stopping those ads would be a severe financial blow, and might force it to make significant cuts to Guardian and Observer journalism around the world. So at this stage, it's fossil fuels out, the rest still in.

Salesforce

Salesforce announced Salesforce Sustainability Cloud last year, a carbon accounting product for businesses to drive climate action aiming to accelerate the world’s efforts towards carbon neutrality.

Credit: Salesforce


With Salesforce Sustainability Cloud, the vendor said businesses have a sustainability platform that gives them a 360-degree view of their environmental impact and provides data-driven insights to make change. 

Salesforce Sustainability Cloud enables businesses to track, analyse and report reliable environmental data to help them reduce their carbon emissions. A company’s carbon data is surfaced in Salesforce Einstein Analytics, which creates dynamic reports and dashboards.

"At Salesforce, we've always believed business is the greatest platform for change. Addressing climate change with speed and at scale is critical to see a turning point," Salesforce chief impact officer and EVP of corporate relations, Suzanne DiBianca, said. “Businesses must work together to be the greatest force for climate transformation the world has ever seen.” 

Salesforce's efforts around a sustainable, low-carbon future see it driving towards its Step Up Declaration commitments, delivering a carbon-neutral cloud to all customers, committing to reaching 100 percent renewable energy by 2022 and advocating for policies that set the planet, and the geographies the company operates in, on a path to a low-carbon economy.

Expensify 

Expensify, an expense management platform, has debuted a new corporate card initiative, Karma Points, that makes an automatic charitable donation every time an Expensify cardholder makes a purchase.

With every swipe, Expensify will donate 10 per cent of Expensify Card revenue to causes aimed at keeping people off the streets, getting hungry kids meals, and fighting climate change. The Expensify Card aims to offer a more meaningful alternative to traditional rewards points.

Credit: Expensify


“The reality is, rewards worth hundreds of billions of dollars go unredeemed every year, and most people with rewards cards spend more in fees and interest than the rewards they earn,” Expensify founder and CEO, David Barrett, said. “Revenue from these rewards programs is literally measured in pennies on the dollar, or fractions of pennies. But what if we combined all those billions of fractions of pennies and put them into the hands of those who need them a whole lot more than we do? That’s the idea behind Karma Points.”

All funds raised will be donated through a new charity, Expensify.org. To maximise simplicity and participation in the program, donations will route automatically to one of five funds most relevant to any given purchase. Cardholders will also receive an instant notification on their phone letting them know which fund their purchase supported. The specific Expensify.org funds include Climate, which supports the purchase and planting of a tree as the first step toward offsetting carbon emissions.

Companies using Expensify can choose to go a step further by enabling Corporate Offsets, which will automatically donate $2 to Expensify.org for every $1000 worth of approved expenses. Individuals will also have the option to donate out of pocket for the same amount with Personal Offsets. Expensify plans to expand the number of ways to donate and volunteer through Expensify.org in the future.

Adidas
Credit: adidas

In 2020, for the first time, more than half of the polyester used in adidas products will come from recycled plastic waste. From 2024 onwards, the company is committed to using only recycled polyester.

In 2020, adidas also plans to produce a record 15 to 20 million pairs of shoes with plastic waste collected from beaches and coastal regions. Last year, adidas produced more than 11 million pairs of such shoes. The use of recycled plastic in products is part of the company's efforts to avoid plastic waste and stop the pollution of the world's oceans.

The first fully recyclable running shoe, 'Futurecraft Loop', has been in the test phase since 2019. The market launch is planned for 2021. adidas is already working on the development of bio-fabricated materials for sports apparel and presented first prototypes for tennis wear prior to last year’s Wimbledon tournament.

Avoiding plastic on the route to consumers: adidas eliminated plastic bags from its stores in 2016 and will also use recycled packaging to deliver products to stores in the future.

In terms of climate protection, by 2030, adidas will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from both its own activities and those of its suppliers by 30 percent compared to the year 2017. Climate neutrality is on the agenda for 2050. In Germany, the company already sources almost all its electricity from renewable sources.

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