This week I’m fortunate enough to be at the Sustainable Brands conference in Monterey, California. This is my second year and it’s proven once again why it’s my favorite conference of the year. Here are a few quick thoughts from the conference:
A new identity: Economic futurist Hazel Henderson issued a call for marketers to help people understand that for the first time in human history, it’s possible to be a citizen of the world, not just of a country, a state or a local community. We’ve all heard this statement before, but now we’re partly responsible for making it happen.
Green my parents: High school junior Jordan Howard presented a new idea – create your own green job at home. Teenagers need a way to earn money. What if teenagers undertook green initiatives and shared in the savings as a way to earn money and help the environment? Check out the website and buy the book on Amazon.
Systems thinking: Starbucks contributes a significant percentage to the pile of disposable cups in this country, and their sustainability director has undertaken a mission to make all their cups recyclable or reusable in the next several years. But guess what? While it might be easy to find compostable cups, the vast majority of municipal solid waste facilities don’t compost. So Starbucks is thinking in a systematic way and influencing the secondary systems that are standing in the way.
$9 billion a month: The Chinese are spending $9 billion a month on clean energy development. This is 12x more than we’re spending.
No rainforest beef: Andrew Winston told a story of Wal-Mart in Brazil. They are no longer accepting beef or soy that was harvested on land that used to be rainforest. And no one knows this happened – Wal-Mart didn’t leverage this for PR gain. They did it because of their interest in their supply chain’s sustainability. The pressure coming from businesses seems to be more effective than regulatory pressure in this case.
The Monterey Aquarium: If you haven’t been before, it’s a visual treat and a truly memorable experience. I walked around last night with my mouth hanging open like a four-year-old.
That’s it for now. There are about 47 other speakers ahead. Cheers from Monterey!