My take on Sustainability

As this term comes to a close, Kate (our prof) asked our class to write a post about how sustainable marketing change how we view the world. Here’s my personal take on it.

Taking this class has opened my eyes on how sustainable practices are used by companies nowadays. Not just the whole use of recyclable materials or less plastic, but the whole aspect of sustainable practices being applied to the whole value chain of the company. It also gave me a viewpoint on how some companies are really genuine and passionate about implementing sustainable practices to help our society while some are just greenwashing to make us consumers believe they are concerned about the environment. With sustainability being a buzz word among businesses today, companies have to quickly determine if they are going to take their stand and do it wholeheartedly or they would just go with the flow and not put too much thought on it.

As a student/consumer, taking this course made me appreciate the sustainability side of marketing. It’s something that I have not really put that much thought into and I’m glad taking this course has made me do that. I’m also more interested to discover the sustainable initiatives and practices that are being done by companies. There is a quite a lot of them and I want to explore them more hence the reason why I will still continue on with this blog to feature sustainable companies. Last but not the least, I admire companies and people who are so passionate about sustainability. I went to Me Inc Conference this year and I attended the sustainability panel workshop. I enjoyed hearing the speakers (from Fortis BC, MEC, New World Natural Foods and VCC) take on sustainability and how they are still working hard in sending the message out to our society today. I was really inspired from the panel and I look forward to including sustainability in my personal and work life.



Comments on Classmates’ Blog Posts on Sustainability

1st Comment on Sabrina’s post on Environmental Impact of Cellphones

I like how infographics are made to summarize the key effects of electronics and e-waste to our environment. It definitely makes it easier to understand at least in my case. I was reading this article: and it perfectly relates to your blog post. In this article, it introduces the ecoATM where you can put your old phone in the slot, get an estimated price for it and cash out for store credit or money. I find this product/service innovative and different. It makes people curious and want to try the machine out. Hopefully, this machine will make its way to Canada!

2nd Comment on Keeptheeco’s post on How far are you willing to?

I think the two points that you mentioned in regards to adidas being in the list of Top 100 sustainable corporations are just a small part of the company’s sustainable initiative. adidas has an overall strategy of reducing its environmental impact 15% by 2015 in all of its areas such as value chain and product creation, among others through a project called Green Company ( It is an environmental programme that runs in their offices, warehouses, distribution centres and production sites around the world. Several of their buildings are also ISO 14001 certified. The ISO 14001 certification is a framework that assists organizations in developing their own environmental management system and adidas has already aimed in applying this framework to their global locations such as their main headquarters at Herzogenaurach, Germany, adidas North America in Portland and distribution centres in Spartanburg and Indianapolis, US. This effort in reducing their carbon emission, waste and pollution is not something I would consider as greenwashing, as Marco mentioned above. As concerned consumers, we should all take the time to read a company’s sustainable initiatives and programs before we judge them. Here’s adidas Group’s blog that talks about their current sustainable initiatives:

3rd comment on agreennation’s post on Kenya and its ecotourism

Wow, I definitely want to visit Kenya and experience all it has to offer especially the natural wildlife. Since I love traveling, I read travel blogs and I have noticed that eco-tourism is becoming more popular in the tourism and hospitality industry. Especially when it comes to sites that are so old and have to be preserved such as Pompeii, Italy, as tourists, we have to become more aware of how we explore certain parts of the world. Some sustainable practices include making sure we throw our garbage in the bins, we do not destroy the environment and cause as minimal environmental impact as possible. This can prevent the place from being extinct and let it still be accessible to tourists like us.

Heineken – Beer, Sustainability & Creative Crowdsourcing

I was browsing through my Twitter feed yesterday and saw Kate’s (@white_k8) tweet about Heineken holding a crowdsourcing idea contest for its sustainable packaging. As we mentioned in class, more companies are finding ways to make their packaging sustainable including the way products are transported to retailers and customers. Some examples are HP’s laptop packaging, Cargo Cosmetics’ innovative lipstick packaging and of course, LUSH’s Naked bath bombs packaging. All of these companies took on the sustainability challenge given by our society and they all succeeded.

Back to the Heineken Beer Sustainable Packaging, the company is crowdsourcing ideas and innovations for the future of its beer packaging in three different ways: re-using or recycling a larger amount of its beer packaging, discovering new packaging materials and maximizing transportation efficiency in relation to the packaging itself. The contest is open to selected countries and states around the world due to local legislation and restrictions, however, people who are not allowed to compete are still encouraged to share and vote for the most innovative and inspiring ideas.

There are two stages in this challenge. The first stage called the Enrolment encourages people to create a profile and submit unlimited amount of ideas. Participants will be judged based on innovativeness and the number of votes the idea receives from the audience. The top 100 participants will enter the next stage of the challenge called Idea Enrichment stage. In this stage, the selected participants will be invited to work with Heineken experts “in a collaborative, closed online innovation environment to upgrade the selected ideas”. This stage will be judged by an official jury of external experts and Heineken innovation directors and one overall winner will be selected. The winner will receive $10,000 and will ultimately be part of Heineken’s history. This way of crowdsourcing ideas reminded me of the research paper Professor Darren Dahl did, which he explained in my Creativity class this term. His research paper focused on the effects of social recognition and monetary reward on creativity. His research results showed that when people were told to focus on the creative process (For example, in Heineken’s case: “Since we do not want to limit creativity, you can submit as many ideas as you like.”), people given monetary reward had the most original ideas compared to those given social recognition reward or no rewards at all. The reason behind this is that people who are given monetary reward engaged in more narrow search and more risk taking ideas that were further away from the most conventional idea. So in Heineken’s crowdsourcing ideas for its sustainable packaging, there is a high possibility that they are going to get a high number of innovative and creative ideas as the monetary reward of $10,000 is there and up for grabs. So what are you waiting for? Put on your creative cap and help Heineken with its sustainable initiative!