Voices of Challenge
Please review our Commenting Guidelines before posting.
Question: How do we incent consumers to take meaningful, positive action on the issue of climate change?
Companies love to talk about how they've achieved cost savings through energy-efficiency programs (rightfully so!), but consumers may be getting an unfortunate mixed message. While quick to acknowledge cost savings to show their energy management efforts are working, companies are much slower to extend any kind of savings to consumers who want to reward them for using less energy (and emitting less CO2). Instead, the conventional corporate wisdom is to ask consumers to pay more for products and services with green attributes rather than explicitly share the return on investment in climate action. An obvious “climate” discount or rebate could connect climate action to lower costs and change the marketplace.
Question: Can one label adequately compare products' sustainability?
Consumers need information that is scientifically rigorous, but still easy-to-understand and actionable in the marketplace. GoodGuide draws from more than 1500 data points to create ratings on the environment, health and social impacts of products and companies. Without a comprehensive approach, consumers are left to sort through a bewildering array of competing product claims on their own. Credible, streamlined solutions are essential to empowering consumers to make healthy, safe and socially responsible choices.
Question: Which NGOs and local community partners have an effective track record of helping companies scale their efforts to improve the lives of factory workers?
The most innovative partnerships depend on effective collaboration with impactful local organizations and individuals—the only way to create effective and sustainable change is through locally-driven partnerships. BSR’s HERproject, a program that Timberland participates in, has worked with many local organizations, including women’s health and rights NGOs, like Awaj Foundation (Bangladesh) and Life Centre (Vietnam); international NGOs, like Marie Stopes International (China and Vietnam branches); universities’ Departments of Community Health, like Aga Khan University (Pakistan), and St. John’s Medical College (India); and local government bodies, such as provincial Women’s Federations (China), and the regional Population Welfare Department (Pakistan). Groups like these have helped insure our factory-based women’s health program is locally relevant, replicable, and sustainable.
Quogue Wildlife Refuge
Question: How can companies scale engagement efforts to maximize the impact to their communities?
Companies can scale their engagement efforts to maximize impact by spending time planning and coordinating with the receiving organization prior to the event. QWR never had a grand scale community service project before the 2008 Retail Boot Camp Community Service Event with Timberland. Due to the planning and 300 hours of work, we were incredibly productive. The projects accomplished included widening the trails, shingling the Entrance Booth, Painting the Red Barn, wood chipping & landscaping the Animal Cages and Butterfly Garden. It would have taken the small staff of three people many months to complete that amount of work.