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SB10: Real Companies, Sustainable Profits

Bill Roth | Wednesday May 26th, 2010 | 0 Comments

The Sustainable Brands 2010 (SB10) conference scheduled for June 7-10 in Monterey, California, will offer four days of speakers from some of our most recognized companies that will be providing case studies and discussions on their best practices for growing sustainably, responsibly, and profitably.

I attended last year’s SB09 and it was excellent. Just the presentations on cutting-edge market research studies made the event a valuable experience. Adding to the value of the event was the opportunity to network with leaders who are pioneering sustainable best practices in Corporate America.

This year’s list of speakers appears to be of even greater depth than last year’s. One speaker I’m particularly looking forward to hearing is Dr. Peter Senge of MIT and author of a seminal book on Systems Thinking entitled The Fifth Discipline. I had the privilege of attending one of Dr. Senge’s training programs where I learned analytical tools that continue to add depth and quality to my economic analysis work. At SB10 Dr. Senge will be co-presenting with Ben Packard, VP Global Responsibility for Starbucks Coffee Company . Their presentation will be a case study on Starbucks’ use of Systems Thinking and organizational learning tools in developing and executing Starbuck’s goals to have 100% of their cups either reusable or recyclable by 2015.

Another speaker I’m looking forward to hearing is R. Paul Herman, an investment expert on how the stocks of companies that are more sustainable in their business practices are outperforming the stocks of companies of less sustainable in their business practices. Herman is participating on a panel with Dara O’Rourke, CEO/Founder of GoodGuide, a leader in evaluating consumer products based upon sustainability criteria. I expect to come away from their discussion with an expanded list of best practices for achieving revenue and stock valuation growth.

A third must-attend presentation will be Annie Longsworth’s. Based in San Francisco, she is the president and managing director of Cohn and Wolfe, one of the world’s premiere public relations and market research firms. Her presentation last year on the emerging sustainable consumer provided me with many of the insights that inspired me to write The Secret Green Sauce. This year her presentation is on Green Brands, one of the three key ingredients being used by companies in my national network to achieve year over year green sales growth even in this “soft recovery” economy.

This year SB10 is offering attendees a new networking feature I have already put to good use. It’s called Crowdvine. Crowdvine provides a list of attendee and speaker profiles with an easy to use outreach process for pre-scheduling meetings during the conference. I already have scheduled two meetings during the event using Crowdvine. One is with John Viera, director with Ford Motor Company who will be talking about “Ford’s Road To Sustainability.” I wanted to connect with Viera after a visit to my local Ford dealer where I saw rows of hybrid and flex fuel SUVs and 300 hp Mustangs with EPA estimated 30 miles per gallon highway mileage. All of these vehicles are made in the USA. My purpose for reaching out to Viera is to learn more about Ford’s views regarding “onshoring” and the potential return of manufacturing to America enabled by the adoption of sustainable manufacturing practices and the growing search by consumers for green products.

I’ve also scheduled a meeting with Alison Presley, manager of Travel for Good at Travelocity. Travelocity is the only major online travel company that flags green hotels site-wide. Last year at SB09 Leilani Latimer, director of sustainability initiatives for Sabre Holdings (parent company of Travelocity) gave a buzz-saw presentation of insights profiling how the travel industry is being impacted by business travelers asking questions about the carbon footprint impacts of their travel choices. It was Latimer’s insights that sparked my research on what I now call the “Sustainable CEO” that has emerged as a major change agent in the adoption of sustainable business practices by Corporate America. I am looking forward to gaining similar valuable insights from Presley’s participation on a panel called “Lessons From the Field: Driving Sales to Your Sustainable Brands.”

Finally, it isn’t often a conference can hold my attention all the way through to the last presentation. However, this year’s last panel at SB10 might be one of the most important for businesses seeking to grow green revenues. Social media has grown into the self-education path used by the Millennial Generation and Concerned Caregivers looking to answer their question of who to buy from and what to buy. Nick Aster and Ryan Mickle of Triple Pundit will participate on the conference’s final panel entitled “Social Media Engagement” with social media experts from Justmeans and Green Maven which I expect to profile new insights on how to use social media to grow green revenues.

Check out the SB10 website to see if you agree that this conference is shaping up to be a landmark event on best practices for making money going green. If so, I hope to see you there!

Bill Roth is the founder of Earth 2017 and author of The Secret Green Sauce that profiles actual companies pioneering best practices for growing green revenues.


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