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Archive for category: General

Green is in Fashion

Green is in Fashion

It’s wonderful to see how so many companies are taking a green approach to their businesses. We’ve talked in previous blogs about how more companies see that having a social consciousness program helps their bottom line. At BBD, we are inspired to see how more and more companies are creatively inspiring green tactics that are far reaching and becoming critical to the literal and figurative fabric of the company.

Eileen Fisher is a privately held company whose brand goes back to 1980’s. The company is known for its simple designs and creative marketing. Since the early 2000’s the company has been making green programs as vogue as their clothing and has added social consciousness to its reputation. The company follows Social Accountability International (SAI) SA8000 standards to ensure social accountability in the work place. The majority of the cotton in their clothing is organic and colored with chemical free dies.

In 2011, the brand began an effort to keep clothing out of landfills as well as provide a funding source to support causes for which the company has a passion. Green Eileen was the eventual product. The program takes in “gently worn” Eileen Fisher clothes, gives donors a $5 gift certificate per item and resells them with all proceeds going to nonprofit groups that have a mission of empowering women.

For Eileen Fisher, sustainability is a way of doing business and it’s been hugely successful. The history of this brand shows that when social consciousness becomes a part of your culture, the answers to what were once tough questions become more and more obvious.  We see many brands and companies demonstrating that cradle-to-cradle processes like the Eileen Fisher model are not only possible, they can be a part of valuing business success.

At BBD, we support companies in reaching their goals for social impact and believe that 100% sustainability is possible. We are here to help you begin making a shift that will show your clients that you and your company have sustainable style.

Green practices pay greenbacks

Green practices pay greenbacks

As of January of this year, an estimated 1,200 companies in the U.S. had B Corp status. A B Corp is a for-profit corporate entity that contributes positively to the community and environment through its products, services and operations. Even with the mounting increase of companies achieving B Corp status, CFOs still want confirmation that green practices and corporate responsibility will support the bottom line.  Luckily, consumer studies and handy new tech tools hold good news for sustainable companies.

A 2014 global study was conducted by Nielsen surveyed consumers on their willingness to pay for products and services provided by companies’ actively practicing conscious capitalism. The study found that 55% of respondents were willing to pay more for products and services from companies that are making a positive social and environmental impact. Nearly as many consumers (52%) had made a prior sustainable product purchase in the past 6 months.

While consumer-reported past purchases and purchase intent is helpful, it may not be the best predictor of actual conversion to a product purchase. To get the rest of the story, a review of sustainable product retail sales was performed. The review showed a 2-5% increase in sales depending on the product marketing.  Companies which included corporate responsibility as a part of their marketing message and on product packaging saw the most success.

More recently, consumer commitment to spending their green on green products and services can be seen in the creation and usage of complementary sustainable shopping apps. More apps are being developed and downloaded that help consumers find green products. Some examples include:

  • GoodGuide— helping consumers find ethically made, green products quickly
  • Fooducate— giving shoppers a product grade level for each scanned product based on its healthfulness
  • Social Impact— allowing users to search socially conscious businesses near their location

The results of the Nielsen study and the growth of socially conscious consumer apps demonstrates that a growing percentage of consumers are:

  • motivated to spend on sustainable products made by socially conscious companies
  • willing to pay more for them
  • influenced to purchase by a sustainable marketing message.

Share with others how your company is communicating your green efforts to your target market.

Social Enterprise Surprises While Traveling

Social Enterprise Surprises While Traveling

Social enterprise can be surprising, with new expressions of the movement popping up in unexpected places.  With BBD’s recent rebranding in the social enterprise area, it’s been so fun whenever I unexpectedly experience or hear about another company’s shared passion.

Gary and I recently had to opportunity to experience Argentina thanks to the generosity of Trapiche Wines.  Trapiche treated us to many wonderful events: watching the hottest tango show in Buenos Aires (Wow!!!) , visiting the area that Eva Peron spoke to her people (I’m a huge Evita fan!) and the historical cemetery where she was buried, tasting the malbec grapes (so delicious!) right from the vine, horseback riding in the Andes (spectacular mountain range), and witnessing the fall harvesting process at the winery (and enjoying a variety of wonderful tasting wines) – who knew all the effort it takes to produce that wonderful bottle of wine!

During one of the amazing dinners Trapiche hosted, they shared their incredible passion and vision for their vineyards and winery now and well into the future.  To my unexpected delight, they started talking about their social enterprising efforts.

The Trapiche brand believes in fostering more than a family wine making legacy.  Trapiche supports a social enterprise called Xinca.  Xinca is a unique group that saw an opportunity to clean up abandoned old tires that were left to clutter up their land and community. The Xinca team “hit the pavement” (pun intended) and found a way to convert the rubber waste of the tires and recycled pants into shoes while creating jobs for the people of Argentina.

Here are 3 ways you can help support Xinca’s mission.

  1. Give away your pants!  By law, companies must change required uniforms of employees twice per year.  This generates a lot of waste that can be used by Xinca. Encourage organizations that have scrap cloth and clothing to donate them instead of trashing them.
  2. Help social enterprise get traction!  Share Xinca’s story and stories like theirs via social media so all your socially conscious friends can be following in your Xinca clad footsteps. Show your friends how to be responsible consumers and post every time you hear about or purchase from companies like Xinca.
  3. If the shoe fits! Make social conscious shopping a lifestyle.  Seek out products that were made by companies that are strategically protecting the environment, operating ethically, and upholding social justice.   Take a step to support social enterprise and shop Xinca shoes. (Keep in mind the exchange rate. Reference this handy currency converter. )

Look around and like me, you may be surprised to see the many companies that are “stepping up” just like Xinca to make a positive impact on their communities.  Share this post to make a positive step-up of your own.

Looking at your Business Through Green Colored Glasses on Earth Day

Looking at your Business Through Green Colored Glasses on Earth Day

Earth Day reminds us all to continue to step up our game when it comes to preserving our environment. Many conscious companies take their commitment to fostering a flourishing planet very seriously, leaving no green stone unturned in implementing green practices into their business.  Many of the world’s most recognizable brands leverage Earth Day to gain extra exposure and publicity for their brand and their passion for environmental issues.

Regardless of a company’s size, how the company executes its green efforts can give important insight into a company at its core. It’s critical that green programs be authentic and lasting for them to create a positive association for a company. The closer a company’s eco programs and Earth Day efforts are to their brand and the more supported the programs are by company leadership and associates, the more success the programs will have. Getting a green program off the ground and functioning at a level that truly makes an impact to the environment and external perception of the company requires internal and external marketing.

Start or expand your business’ earth-friendly efforts and ensure they work to grow awareness of your company and your positive impact on the earth:

Ask for input from other stakeholders – Contributors to any project respond well to being included in project planning efforts and diverse teams are the most successful.  Meet with your team to get their thoughts on your green programs, unique execution, and ways to get the word out.

Be open to new ways of thinking – Making real change requires new thinking. Proactively guide your own mind and your team through turning ideas upside down to look for new and better green processes and projects. The more creative your thinking the more excitement the programs and your company will generate inside your organization and beyond.

Look for meaningful partnerships – Consider the groups, organizations, companies and brands your company currently works with or could join forces with. Look for share interests, complementary opportunities and themes that multiple groups can support and where the impact is meaningful to all parties involved. Work together on broadcasting your great work in a way that benefits your partnership and your purpose.

Consistently Communicate As you begin to implement or grow your green programs, commit to providing regular updates to your constituency and external audiences. This ensures your programs are top-of-mind and more likely to be supported.  Invite information sharing and look for creative ways you can get your message out to a broader group of supporters.

Go Green or Go Home – Remain consistent and steadfast in your commitment to green programs. Look for green wins you can share to keep the enthusiasm going.  Make it a part of your company culture and it will become second nature to everyone. This makes the efforts an ongoing theme when conversations happen about your company.

Keep pumping good energy into your company; keep asking for new ideas for green practices that will work for your team; provide frequent updates on your progress. This change in your perspective can change everyone’s perspective about your company.

For more resources on making the most of your green efforts, check out 5 Green Ideas to Get Your Customers and Employees on board with Earth Day 2015.

It’s Launch Time! The New Face of BBD

It’s Launch Time! The New Face of BBD

Happy 2015!

As we move into the new year, BBD has moved onto a new journey.

Since our inception 13 years ago, we’ve been passionate about helping leaders bring their vision alive. Now we are ready to do the same for BBD.

We believe there is a better way of doing business.

Leaders and Social and Public Benefit EntrepreneursWith this new way of business, we can help solve many of society’s problems by harnessing the power of business for the public good.

Over the years we found that many leaders are no longer satisfied creating returns for shareholder or traditional charitable approaches to solving society’s problems. Instead, they are looking for more meaning and more social impact.

For these people, BBD’s “On Purpose” Program for Leaders and Social and Public Benefit Entrepreneurs is the first stepping stone to a most meaningful and rewarding future.

We believe in Going Beyond the Traditional.

Social Impact

We are launching the new BBD website – where we are “People Strategy Partners” who work with authentic, mission driven leaders passionate about conscious corporate & community development.

Our goal is to develop leaders in their ability to build relationships, align partnerships and connect resources within and between organizations and the community.

Now we are ready to share this new direction with you!

Explore our new site and tell us what you think.

BIG BBD Announcement!

BIG BBD Announcement!

Hope you had a wonderful New Year!

At BBD, we are already jumping into 2015 with a BANG – starting with our new way of doing business as a Public Benefit Corporation. Yesterday was our kick off meeting with the press and BBD was the first to officially file with the MN Secretary of State, Mark Ritchie.

In recent years, critically urgent environmental, social, and economic problems have become top-of-mind issues for our global society. Real solutions are required to solve these pressing and ever-accelerating problems. There is a great need for our business, community, and national and world leaders to go beyond the status quo and begin using their influence to create meaningful and positive change.

Read More

Get Noticed With Your Resume

Your resume is one of the most important parts of your portfolio. This piece of paper can often mean the difference bet ween landing your dream job or not. The thing about overwhelmed confusedresumes is that what works and what doesn’t work is always changing. As a best practice, it makes sense to update your resume before starting a job search or even better – automatically update it each year so that it is ready to go.

However, updating a resume is sometimes easier said than done. Whether you don’t have the time or you are unclear on what is working in today’s job market, taking the time to polish it and prepare it for distribution can feel daunting. To help you make sure that you make the best possible first impression, The Daily Muse, a website that offers great career and job search advice, has an extensive list of 45 Quick Changes that Help Your Resume Get Noticed.

You can view the entire article here: http://www.themuse.com/advice/45-quick-changes-that-help-your-resume-get-noticed.

They have their tips separated out based on time. For example, there are tips if you have 2 minutes, 5 minutes and 10 to 15 minutes. This will help you streamline your efforts so you know exactly what you can accomplish in a short amount of time.

Take the overwhelm and frustration of updating your resume by following the tips and advice from The Daily Muse.

And I’d really like to hear your favorite resume tip too. Share it in the comments below.

This is Not Your Dad’s Workshop

If you are looking to maximize your potential through presentation excellence, then today is your lucky day.speak up

On May 29th and 30th, Jeanne Gulbranson, the creator of SpeakUP,  will be personally presenting a SpeakUp Workshop at the Woman’s Club in Minneapolis.

This workshop is unlike any other speaking workshop out there. You will not hear about how to plan, structure and write your presentations. Everybody talks about that. If you need that information, Google “how to write a presentation.” You’ll get about 149,000,000 results. Download one of them—free! They say the same thing and they’re all correct.

SpeakUp is a “workshop for real people with real jobs”; people who want and need to put their best foot (and mouth) forward.

From presenting to an interal group of people at your company to offering a keynote presentation at an event, this workshop will help you become the best presenter you can be.

If you are interested in more information or want to learn how you can join us, click on this link: SpeakUp Workshop.

There are only 8 spots left for this workshop, so if you feel this is right for you, then be sure to register right away.