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Mary Mazzoni headshot

3p Weekend: These Consumer Engagement Campaigns Prove Companies Still Care

By Mary Mazzoni

With a busy week behind you and the weekend within reach, there’s no shame in taking things a bit easy on Friday afternoon. With this in mind, every Friday TriplePundit will give you a fun, easy read on a topic you care about. So, take a break from those endless email threads, and spend five minutes catching up on the latest trends in sustainability and business.

With the atmosphere in Washington shifting decidedly away from sustainability, it's easy to assume most American companies will follow suit.

In reality, 60 percent of firms with revenues greater than $1 billion said the Donald Trump administration will have “no impact” on their sustainability strategies. And these consumer engagement campaigns tell us companies don't plan to stop putting funds behind environmental stewardship, diversity and sustainable development. Let's all breathe a small sigh of relief.

Kashi rallies shoppers around organics


Last year Kellogg subsidiary Kashi — known best for cereals and snack bars — made waves for its choice to establish a transitional organic label.

It's expensive for farmers to go organic. And it takes at least three years -- a so-called 'transition period' -- for certifications to go through. During this time, farmers are making costly improvements to their practices without being paid more for their wares.

Kashi and Quality Assurance International cited this gap as a major barrier that prevents small farmers from going organic. With transitional organic certification, farmers can begin charging more for their crops as they make steps toward that coveted USDA seal.

The company says supporting transitional organic products will help the market catch up with demand -- and make it easier to source organic ingredients. Kashi released its second product containing transitional ingredients last month. And executives say they hope the expanding product line can engage customers around organic agriculture.

“Kashi has a role to play in promoting dialogue with consumers about the need for more organics,” Nicole Nestojko, senior director of supply chain and sustainability at Kashi, told 3p. “This is the first time consumers can directly support the transition to more organics through their purchases."

Peet's wants customers to know who grew their coffee


Peet's Coffee is arguably the country's first high-end coffee chain. They've served up high-quality and fairly-traded brews since 1966. And many of the same smallholder coffee-farming collectives still work with the company to this day.

Its latest initiative, People and Planet, seeks to engage customers around the work the company is already doing to support coffee farmers. The People and Planet line includes nine coffees: each from a different region and a different group of farmers.

Additional People and Planet coffees will be announced throughout the year, as well as events where Peet’s will invite its customers to engage around the initiative.

3p spoke with Doug Welsh, VP of coffee and ‘Roastmaster’ for Peet’s, to learn more. You can read our coverage here.

H&M asks customers to recycle their old clothes

Up to 95 percent of the clothing Americans throw away could be reworn or recycled, according to H&M.

In 2013, the fast-fashion giant set out to recapture some of those old clothes with a national rollout of its garment collection program. Over the past four years, H&M customers recycled a staggering 32,000 tons of clothing and textiles -- which are given new life through rewear or recycling in partnership with I:CO.

“Fashion is a resource that can be used again and again,” Anna Gedda, head of sustainability at H&M, told 3p Editor in Chief Jen Boynton when she visited the company's headquarters in Stockholm last year. “It’s a new way of thinking about fashion.”

Boynton is heading back to Sweden to learn more about an exciting new announcement from H&M. Check 3p next week for more details.

P&G puts cash behind women's empowerment


Consumer packaged goods giant Procter & Gamble has been busy this year. Along with offering disaster-relief services to communities in Mississippi and Georgia, the company and its brands put philanthropic and advertising dollars behind women's empowerment.

The company's Pantene hair care brand launched an ad campaign celebrating diversity last week. In its powerful "All Strong Hair Is Beautiful" ad, the company seeks to dispel myths about African American hair -- which is often misrepresented in the media and pop culture.

"Mass brands, like Pantene, have inadvertently been a part of this pervasive hair bias with a history of advertising showcasing a limited representation of African American hair styles and textures and promoting long, shiny, smooth hair as the pinnacle of hair health and beauty," the company said in a press release. "Pantene has set out to change this perception and empower all women to embrace their strong and unique hair, because all strong hair is beautiful hair."

P&G's Always feminine hygiene brand is also active in empowering women and girls. The company launched its #LikeAGirl campaign with an ad spot during the 2014 Super Bowl. The initiative tells young ladies there's no shame in "playing like a girl" and seeks to build up women's athletics.

As part of the ongoing campaign, Always linked up with Walmart to support 50 girls sports teams in 50 states. The campaign successfully wrapped a few weeks ago, with both companies putting financial backing behind girls teams across the country.

Dell educates customers about ocean waste


This summer, Dell will be the first company in the electronics industry to make packaging from waste collected at sea. Starting April 30, Dell will begin transitioning its XPS 13 2-in-1 laptop packaging to an alternative made from 25 percent ocean plastic.

The packaging will also feature educational information to "raise global awareness" about ocean health, the company said last month. Dell claims its pilot, in partnership with the Lonely Whale Foundation, will prevent 16,000 pounds of plastic from entering the ocean this year.

Garnier rallies customers around bathroom recycling...


Most Americans have mastered the simple behavior change of tossing beverage and food containers into the recycling bin -- at least in neighborhoods where curbside recycling pickup is available. But recycling is more easily forgotten in other rooms of the house.

Garnier is out to change that with a campaign to remind customers to recycle those empty shampoo and body wash bottles. Although these bottles are recyclable, up to half of Americans toss them in the trash, according to Garnier.

To that end, the personal care products company owned by L’Oréal launched its fittingly-named Rinse, Recycle, Repeat campaign earlier this month. It enlisted a popular YouTuber and DoSomething.org to spread the recycling gospel. And it partnered with TerraCycle on a mail-back disposal solution for customers who don't have access to curbside recycling.

"[The campaign] combines my three favorite things: beauty products, creativity and, most importantly, doing my part to help the environment," said YouTube star Remi Cruz. "I'm excited to be a part of this campaign, and ready to show young people that there is a fun and easy way to make an impact."

... And so is Johnson & Johnson

Garnier is fairly new to the bathroom recycling game. But fellow personal care giant Johnson & Johnson has been at it for years.

The company first launched its Care to Recycle campaign back in 2013. After learning most of its customers weren't recycling in the bathroom, the company put out surveys to find out why.

In its 2017 survey, 60 percent of moms confessed they wish they remembered to recycle more. But they also said they would be more likely to recycle in the bathroom if they had a bin there to help them remember.

They asked, and J&J answered. The company is partnering with CVS to offer free recycling bins with qualifying purchase on CVS.com starting April 9.

And customers can translate those recycled bottles into donations for the Student Conservation Association: J&J will donate $1 for every photo uploaded for the SCA through its Donate A Photo app (up to $60,000).

The company hopes this animated infographic will spread the news across the Web. As social media addicts would say, #totesadorbz.

Mary Mazzoni headshot

Mary has reported on sustainability and social impact for over a decade and now serves as executive editor of TriplePundit. She is also the general manager of TriplePundit's Brand Studio, which has worked with dozens of organizations on sustainability storytelling, and VP of content for TriplePundit's parent company 3BL. 

Read more stories by Mary Mazzoni