Global Brand Leaders Gathering at SB’15 San Diego to Showcase Transformative Ideas

Ford, Whirlpool, Panera Bread, P&G and Levi’s among companies confirmed to share purpose-led innovations
May 19, 2015 3:00 PM ET
Sustainable Brands '15 San Diego

SAN FRANCISCO, May 19, 2015 /3BL Media/ – Nearly 2,000 Sustainable Brands® business and brand leaders will gather at SB’15 San Diego, June 1-4 at the Paradise Point Resort and Spa in San Diego, CA. As the premier global gathering of change-makers focused on driving business innovation for sustainability, this year’s event theme, “How Now”, will focus on how brands are translating environmental and social purpose into business and brand value for business success.

Presented by BASF this year, over 150 influential brand leaders and cutting-edge practitioners of environmental and social innovation will contribute value by leading interactive discussions, deep-dive workshops, plenary presentations and networking activities designed to cultivate learning, conversation and debate. Business leaders from 29 countries and representing companies such as General Motors, Wal-Mart, Google, McDonald’s, Unilever, Starbucks, Kimberly-Clark, Kellogg, HP, Goldman Sachs, EY, Procter & Gamble, United, Visa, JetBlue and hundreds of others are among those already confirmed to attend this year. Program highlights include:

  • AT&T, Unilever, Stella Artois, McDonald’s, New Balance, Bolthouse Farms, Chobani, The National Hockey League, WhiteWave Foods and others will go behind the scenes on new consumer-facing communication campaigns that are shaping the landscape of sustainability messaging.

  • Target, Walmart, CVS Health, BASF and Panera Bread will share details and updates around their latest efforts to pivot their business models and shift product portfolios in alignment with their sustainability strategies.

  • Chip Bergh, President and CEO of Levi Strauss & Co, will sit down for a live main-stage interview with Guardian Sustainable Business Editor-at-Large Marc Gunther, covering a range of critical topics including executive leadership for sustainability, setting an ambitious sustainability strategy and effective stakeholder engagement.

  • Social media celebrity Prince Ea will discuss the importance of 'translating' complex concepts and establishing an authentic connection with any audience.

  • WWF, CDP and Ecolab will discuss the landscape of new tools that help track, value and report water use in smarter ways, along with case studies of successful applications.

  • Whirlpool will reveal its latest work on positive-impact homes and announce a new partnership with Kohler Co, leading to a joint ability to create energy and water resources driving toward a self-sustaining status of existing buildings.

  • Ford’s Chief Futurist Sheryl Connelly will unpack the value her job delivers to the rest of the company, diving specifically into recent insights her team has reached about the ways Millennials and Gen Z are reshaping the relationship between brand authenticity and trust.

  • Leveraging in-depth interviews with marketing and sustainability leaders, as well as case studies of top-ranking brands, Given London and Procter & Gamble will present a step-by-step methodology on how to bridge the gaps between marketing and sustainability teams.

  • PepsiCo, The Nature Conservancy, Ford, Novelis, Sprint, Net Impact and Goodwill will explain new noteworthy partnerships that help increase recycling rates, advance take-back programs and advance overall circular economy thought leadership.

  • The ISEAL Alliance will launch a new tool that brings clarity to the confusing landscape of sustainability messages, claims and labels, and is especially helpful for decision-making within sustainable purchasing or procurement programs.

  • Rani Hong, UN Special Advisor on Sustainability & CEO of Tronie Foundation, will join us for the U.S. launch of The Freedom Seal, a new tool identifying brands that are actively taking steps to prevent forced labor and human trafficking.

  • Edelman will lead a discussion with Method, Kashi, Theo Chocolate and Wype, sharing emblematic cases of ‘activist brand positioning’ in order to tease out what works best in converting mainstream consumers into activists.

  • MGM Resorts International, Intel and PwC will highlight three different types of significant recent milestones in employee engagement. 

Collaboration and networking will spill into the Activation Hub, hosted by BASF, where companies will lead discussions around complex business challenges and share innovative solutions. Participating companies include:

  • Edelman will guide brands and attendees in ‘hacking’ their sustainability experiences to create meaningful and compelling stories.
  • PwC will devote discussions to stakeholder motivations, global environmental, social and economic trends, and translating the latest scientific research into practical guidance for the business world.
  • Target will host the SB Innovation Open where eleven semi-finalist social and environmental entrepreneurs will pitch their business plans to an esteemed panel of judges.
  • Organizations featured in the Causeway will showcase high-impact partnerships with purpose-driven brands. Participants include: The Nature Conservancy, EDF, Stand for Trees, Project AWARE, DIGDEEP and others.
  • WeSpire will host employee engagement conversations that focus on empowering employees through purposeful work.
  • BASF will host conversations on ways to collaborate for future innovation.
  • thinkstep will host conversations on what Circular means for businesses and discuss innovations that fuel the Circular Economy. Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute and GreenBlue will join in the dialogue.
  • Tennaxia will host a special session with the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) on how smarter metrics and tools can support future business success.
  • Additional participating organizations include: 3M, Sprint, SolarCity, The Sustainability Consortium, Algix, 5T Sports, SicaSoft, Y&R Inspire, AHA!, iCompli, MBDC, EcoVadis, Looptworks, UL Environment, Dix & Eaton and others.

“Smart brands are turning today’s societal and environmental pressures into opportunity,” states KoAnn Skrzyniarz, Founder of Sustainable Brands. “They are building new business models in response to changing norms, testing new ideas to meet the needs of shifting consumer mindsets, adopting new metrics and tools that help identify and capture new forms of business value and creating partnerships that scale positive impact. Our global community of thought and opinion leaders has been leading the way since 2007 and we are excited to see the depth and breadth of companies not only sharing their sustainability-led innovations this year at SB’15 San Diego, but showing how to unlock ways to tackle roadblocks and bring new ideas to market more quickly.”

In addition to presenting sponsorship support from BASF, Gold level sponsors include: Citizen Group, Target, Edelman, PwC, JetBlue, MSLGROUP, WeSpire and Waste Management. HP, thinkstep, Sealed Air Corporation, EY, Workiva, Blend, Casual Films, Cone Communications and Knotty Pine are Silver Sponsors. FORTUNE, Guardian Sustainable Business and GOOD are premier media partners. For further information on the conference program, a complete list of confirmed speakers and sponsors plus Activation Hub activities, please visit the conference website at Online registration is still open and a limited number of tickets are still available.

About Sustainable Brands

Sustainable Brands® is the premier global community of brand innovators who are shaping the future of commerce worldwide. Since 2006, our mission has been to inspire, engage and equip today’s business and brand leaders to prosper for the near and long term by leading the way to a better future. Digitally published news articles and issues-focused conversation topics, internationally known conferences and regional events, a robust e-learning library and peer-to-peer membership groups all facilitate community learning and engagement throughout the year. Sustainable Brands is hosted by Sustainable Brands Worldwide, a division of Sustainable Life Media headquartered in San Francisco, CA.