5 Brands We Love That Are Making a Real Environmental Impact.

Category
Advertising
Topic
Sustainability
5 minute read

5 Brands We Love That Are Making a Real Environmental Impact

If a brand does something positive for the environment and doesn’t squeeze every last drop of value out of it through advertising and marketing, does it still make an impact? That’s the perennial question.

We all know the real answer – of course it does. And if that brand is making a genuine and sustained effort to help save the planet, then we’re all for it. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with shouting about your environmental and sustainability achievements in order to communicate them to customers. After all, we know that today’s shoppers are far more environmentally conscious than they’ve ever been before, and frequently choose to spend their money with brands that are doing everything they can to fight climate change.

But some brands, armed with this knowledge, have carefully mastered the art of spending more time and money on advertising themselves as environmentally friendly than actually, well, being environmentally friendly. To the environmentally-conscious customer, they appear to be a brand you’d want to buy from. They give off all the right signals and say all the right things. However, when you dig a little deeper, you realise it’s just an illusion. It’s what’s known as ‘greenwashing’, and while the term has been around since the late 80s, it’s really moved into the spotlight in the last 10 years.

There are probably plenty of blogs you can read that list some of the worst examples of greenwashing by brands, but we wanted to use this space to celebrate the brands that are doing the opposite – making genuine attempts to do something good for the environment. Most of the team here are customers of these brands, so we’re obviously big fans (and possibly a little biased). Some of them do make a splash in the news and on social media, others probably don’t quite get the attention they deserve, but nevertheless, these are our favourites.

They give off all the right signals and say all the right things. However, when you dig a little deeper, you realise it’s just an illusion. It’s what’s known as ‘greenwashing’.

There are probably plenty of blogs you can read that list some of the worst examples of greenwashing by brands, but we wanted to use this space to celebrate the brands that are doing the opposite – making genuine attempts to do something good for the environment. Most of the team here are customers of these brands, so we’re obviously big fans (and possibly a little biased). Some of them do make a splash in the news and on social media, others probably don’t quite get the attention they deserve, but nevertheless, these are our favourites.

Patagonia

Patagonia
Patagonia

Perhaps one of the most well-known eco-conscious brands, Patagonia has built its long-standing reputation by being proudly and unapologetically green. It has truly led the way with its global repair not replace program, as well as imploring customers to resist buying products they don’t need (even their own) and to buy second-hand wherever possible. All with the aim of reducing the fashion industry’s carbon, water and waste footprint and the amount of used clothes going to landfills. They’re the complete antithesis of the burgeoning fast fashion industry, but their brand reputation and longevity speak volumes.

Beyond Meat

Beyond Meat

Some brands do their bit for the environment by improving how they operate, such as overhauling the way they manufacture, package or distribute their products. Others take a more direct approach by coming up with an innovative product that is in itself much better for the environment. And when it comes to the food industry, what Beyond Meat has achieved could almost be called revolutionary. By creating a product that looks, smells and tastes like a burger (but most definitely isn’t), they’re helping to lessen the impact of what many environmentalists believe is the biggest contributor to the environmental crisis – the meat industry. The brand is now synonymous with meat-free alternatives.

Who Gives a Crap

Who Gives a Crap

When it comes to thinking of ways we can help the environment, toilet paper is probably the last thing we’d think of. But when you find out that 27,000 trees are chopped down every day to manufacture it, along with 37 gallons of water just to produce a single roll, and not to mention all the energy required to transport it, then you realise how big the problem is. Who Gives a Crap is tackling the problem head on by revolutionising the loo roll. Their premium toilet rolls are made from rapidly growing and renewable bamboo and recycled paper, which reduces its carbon footprint significantly. They don’t use any inks, dyes or scents in the paper either, which makes it even better for recycling and less harmful to the environment. Not only that, 50% of their profits are donated to charities that build toilets and improve sanitation for more than 2 billion people who don’t currently have access to them. We’re big fans of Who Gives a Crap for all the incredible work they’re doing, but also because of the fun, coloruful brand they’ve created.

Octopus Energy

Octopus Energy
Octopus Energy

We’ve spoken about how retail, fashion and food brands are tackling the environmental crisis, but what about the brands right at the source – the energy companies. Energy firms have a huge impact on the environment, often negative if the source of energy they’re supplying isn’t sustainable. But one brand that’s seeking to change that is Octopus Energy. They pioneered green energy in the UK, vowing only to provide 100% green electricity by investing in new renewable generation such as solar, as well as helping to develop cutting-edge technologies to form the building blocks of a low-carbon smart grid. Their mission is to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and bring down carbon emissions, and it seems customers like it. The brand has attracted millions of new customers in the last few years and it’s become the fifth largest energy supplier in the UK.

Open Green Energy

Open Green Energy

Okay, we might be a little biased with this one as they’re a client of ours. But the work that Open Green Energy is doing to help the environment deserves more plaudits.

Okay, we might be a little biased with this one as they’re a client of ours. But the work that Open Green Energy is doing to help the environment deserves more plaudits. OGE is a Manchester-based tech-driven sustainability practice with a vision for a global green future that uses the power of data and machine learning to develop solutions that make businesses more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Their industry-first (and aptly-named) software GRETA, which stands for Global Reduction of Energy Through Analytics, is pioneering the way that businesses measure and optimise their energy consumption in real time through the integration of ‘Living Data’, such as carbon emissions, waste, usage and air quality, which can then be used to inform sustainability strategies and policies. It’s really clever stuff, and we’re proud to work with them.

If you’d like to find out more about the work we did to help bring Open Green Energy’s brand and digital presence to life, read our case study.

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