Top 8 Things Your Company Would Have Learned at Sustainable Brands '11

Jun 15, 2011 1:30 PM ET

From the CSRHUB Blog

By Cynthia Figge   

Sustainable Brands 2011 convened leading brand, innovation and sustainability executives in Monterey for the fifth annual conference to provide inspiration, insight and solutions for leveraging sustainability as a driver of business and brand value. Cynthia Figge, Cofounder and COO of CSRHUB, attended the conference and shares eight key takeaways.

  1. Innovative disruptive change is the future. To see real benefits in cost and industry leadership, companies need to provide proactive positive solutions rather than simply doing less harm.  Chris Laszlo, Co-Author, Embedded Sustainability.

  2. Shift sustainable product marketing from eco-friendly to ego-friendly. The concept of ‘green’ has been feminized and is appealing to women, but to really shift consumer attitudes and buying practices, products will need to appeal to the male ego. Freya Williams and Graceann Bennett, Ogilvy Earth. See Ogilvy Earth’s latest research.

  3. Eco-innovation is an end, not a means. GE’s Ecomagination not only posits the company as a sustainability leader, but is GE’s #1 recruiting tool at schools and MBA programs and is itself a Fortune 500 company. Kate Brass, GE Program Manager, Ecomagination  

  4. Don’t lie to millennials. When it comes to capturing millennial consumption and brand loyalty, authenticity and transparency are key to the promotion of sustainable affordable products. Social sharing and brand advocacy will follow. Erin Schrode, Lead Spokesperson, Teens Turning Green. 

  5. Find models that overcome economic disincentives. Traditional business models push cost over-runs to the consumer. In a world where sustainable materials cost more than their unsustainable counterparts, successful business models move beyond economic disincentives for sustainability to make their products viable for consumers as well as businessJeffrey Hollender, Co-Founder, Seventh Generation 

Continue reading CSRHUB's top 8 takeaways from Sustainable Brands 2011. 


Cynthia FiggeCofounder and COO of CSRHUB is a forerunner and thought leader in the corporate sustainability movement. In 1996 she co-founded EKOS International, one of the first consultancies integrating sustainability and corporate strategy. Cynthia has worked with major organizations including BNSF, Boeing, Coca-Cola, Dow Jones, and REI to help craft sustainability strategy integrated with business. She was an Officer of LIN Broadcasting/McCaw Cellular leading new services development, and started a new “Greenfield” mill with Weyerhaeuser. She serves as Advisor to media and technology companies, and served as President of the Board of Sustainable Seattle. Cynthia has an MBA from Harvard Business School. Cynthia is based in the Seattle area.   CSRH14590